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1. DC Comics Available for the First Time on Public Library App Hoopla

redson

In their struggle to stay relevant in the technology-obsessed 21st century, many public libraries have turned towards e-book services to keep membership levels high.  Historically, comic book publishers have been slow to embrace digital reading, with Dark Horse Comics only having joined Comixology this week.  However, today DC Comics began its partnership with public library e-book app Hoopla to bring select titles to subscribers around the United States.

Right now, 18 titles are available via the service, comprised of a number of collected trades including Batman: The Long HalloweenWatchmenSuperman: Red SonFinal Crisis, and The Killing Joke.  In order to access these titles, you will need a local library membership at a branch that supports Hoopla.  According to Engadget, Hoopla will add additional DC titles to its library each week, and there will be over 200 DC titles available for borrowing by the end of the summer.  Hoopla’s digital service uses an “action view” feature akin to Comixology’s guided reading mode.

It’s great to see major comic book publishers like DC providing free access to titles and supporting local libraries.  Comics are an expensive hobby, and the cost can be a major turnoff for new readers.  Granting the public access to classic titles like Watchmen will hopefully expand paid comics readership in the long term.  For now though, I need to get a new library card.

3 Comments on DC Comics Available for the First Time on Public Library App Hoopla, last added: 6/25/2015
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2. The Loot Crate Effect Reaches “Cartoonish Levels” on Comics Sales

Note: The distribution numbers used below are estimates, not hard sales numbers.  They’re accurate to the trends, but take the exact unit measurements with a small grain of salt.


 

Recently, Comichron released Diamond distribution numbers for May 2015.  To little astonishment at the feat but some awe at the scale, Marvel’s Secret Wars #1 took the number one slot for the month with 527,678 copies distributed to stores by Diamond, besting the distribution of DC’s April event book, Convergence #1, by nearly 400,000 copies.  Interestingly, however, Boom’s Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1 took the number two slot with 502,737 copies distributed, besting series based on established properties including Star Wars #5 (146,850), Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1 (131,839), and Secret Wars #2 (210,807).  In a world where even DC struggles to pull outstanding numbers on event books, which are traditionally considered to be defibrillators for comic sales, it’s surprising that a new title from one of the smaller major publishers pulled such a high distribution volume.  How did Boom pull it off?  Well, as Comichron writer John Jackson Miller notes in his analysis, “nearly 500,000 copies” were bought by Loot Crate, the largest nerd potpourri vendor on the internet.

BW001

According to the statistical analysis presented in the article, it is clear that the Loot Crate Effect has begun to not only change, but completely distort the direct market.  Comic sales were up by $5,800,000 compared to May 2014, but $2,500,000 of that was thanks to the mass order Loot Crate placed on Holo John.  That’s nearly half of the distribution growth.  In a superficial analysis, you might think that this doesn’t really matter.  After all, sales are sales, right?  Regardless of who is buying or who ultimately ends up with the comic, greater sales mean healthier publishers.

However, while Loot Crate is definitely helping line publishers’ pockets, they aren’t nearly as helpful as you might expect.

Where we don’t see the distortion is in Diamond’s dollar shares, which only look at the dollars it was paid — and there, Boom is in fifth place. According to Diamond’s dollar rankings, it sold 2.4 copies of Bravest Warriors for every Secret Wars #2 it sold — and yet the distributor made more money on Secret Wars #2. Since Secret Wars #2 and Bravest Warriors cost the same — $4.99 — that would indicate that Loot Crate got a much better deal from Boom at wholesale on its copies than retailers got from Marvel.

What this means is that even though Boom’s market share is rising in terms of quantity, the company’s profit margins aren’t improving enough to match that growth.  Not only that, but there’s no quantifiable proof that readership improves after companies dump large quantities of a single issue into Loot Crate’s hands.  October 2014’s The Walking Dead #132 is one of the best performing single issues of the 21st century with 326,300 copies distributed, over 200,000 of which were purchased by Loot Crate.  Meanwhile, September 2014’s sales of issue 131 are reported to be 69,810 and November 2014’s sales of issue 133 stand at 68,093.  There was actually a net loss of readership following The Walking Dead‘s appearance in the Loot Crate.

BW002

It’s harder to determine the effect that Loot Crate has on the readership of series that have their first issue included in the service.  Rocket Raccoon #1 sold 311,000 copies, over 200,000 of which were bought by Loot Crate.  Issue 2 sold 56,597 copies, which presents a steep drop in readership even if you ignore Loot Crate’s wholesale order on issue 1.  That’s not an atypical performance trend in comics, but it does serve as addition indication that Loot Crate isn’t really helping sales in the long term.

Like event books, it seems like Loot Crate has become another sales defibrillator– a way to improve sales in the short term that doesn’t necessarily help the industry grow in the long run.  On the plus side, selling mass orders to Loot Crate has a much lower production cost than the creation of a new event series, where you have to hire writers, artists, and saddle marketing with a lot of additional work.  With Loot Crate, you just pull the trigger and print more copies of the book you already paid to have made anyways.  Unfortunately, this new method doesn’t seem to pad profits nearly as much as event books do.

4 Comments on The Loot Crate Effect Reaches “Cartoonish Levels” on Comics Sales, last added: 6/18/2015
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3. Barnes & Noble Announces “Get Pop-Cultured” Events for July!

They did it last year, and had some success (I’ve only heard rumors… B&N doesn’t give out attendance figures), so Barnes & Noble once again are hosting “Get Pop-Cultured”, a month-long series of pop culture events turning your local B&N into a mini comic con!

The landing page is here, but let’s make a nice calendar, so you’ll know when to line up when for what. (Like any good comic con, there’s a Starbucks, pretzels, and the restrooms will probably have a line.) If you’d like to download an event, find your friendly neighborhood B&N by using this link. You’ll be able to download each item to your favorite calendar app.

Like last year, B&N is anchoring the month-long event to Comic-Con International, using the media buzz to ignite

So, what’s the cool stuff? Vinyl. Exclusives. Strict-on-sale dates for Dr. Seuss and Harper Lee! Freebies. In addition to the events, there will also be lots of merchandising going on in the store, so check those displays! (And something new and exciting in the graphic novel aisle!)

The PR:

This July, join us in stores for a monthlong celebration of pop culture!

tbt

All month: Throwback Thursdays

Join us every Thursday for a nostalgic journey as we relive the most iconic moments in pop culture from the 1950s through the 1990s. Come explore the dynamic influence that books, toys, games, music, movies, TV, and fashion had on society. On July 2, it’s a throwback to the 1950s; on July 9, it’s the 1960s; we’ll celebrate the 1970s on July 16, the 1980s on July 23, and the 1990s on July 30.


timetravel

July 3–5: Time Travel Weekend

On July 3 at 7pm, we’re celebrating Doctor Who! Enjoy trivia, giveaways, a special offer, and more. Come dressed as your favorite character and join the fun. On July 4 at 10am, we’re traveling back millions of years with Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before DarkYoung paleontologists are invited to explore the age of dinosaurs with fun activities, giveaways, and a special offer. On July 5 at 2pm, be transported to the intriguing world of Outlander with trivia, giveaways, and more.


dccomics

July 8–12: DC Comics™ Days

Come in for a special offer on all DC Comics graphic novels and get a free “Young Gotham” comic collection and poster while supplies last. Also enjoy other giveaways and activities. Cosplay is welcomed!


collectibles

July 9–12: Comic Convention Collectibles

While supplies last, pick up shared exclusive collectibles from Diamond Select Toys, Funko, and Titans.


harperlee

July 13 and 14: Harper Lee Celebration

On July 13, all stores nationwide will read To Kill a Mockingbird from start to finish. The read-a-thon will feature a variety of special guest readers, including authors and local celebrities. On July 14, Go Set a Watchman goes on sale! Visit our Cafe stores from 7am to 10am and get a free tall coffee with your purchase of Go Set a WatchmanPlus, the first 20 customers to buy the book will receive a free exclusive To Kill a Mockingbird reusable tote.


minions

July 17, 7pm: Minions Fun

“Bello!” (That’s how Minions say, “Hello!”) Sign up now for our Minions Fun event. Become a certified Minion and attend Villain-Con in our stores to help search for the most despicable villain to follow. Activities and giveaways round out the fun. Contact your local store to sign up.


starwars

July 18: Star Wars™ Saturday

Fans of all ages join us for exclusive products, activities, cosplay, trivia, and a chance to win a Star Wars character standee (no purchase necessary. Must be 13 or older). See a bookseller for complete details.


manga

July 19: Manga Mania

Discover this popular style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels. Enjoy a special offer, activities, and giveaways.


fangirl

July 24, 7pm: Fangirl Friday

Fangirls unite and celebrate fandom. Get introduced to the Women of Marvel, enjoy cosplay, giveaways, and much more. And while supplies last, pick up the Vinyl Vixen Metallic Wonder Woman, available only at Barnes & Noble.


vinyl

July 25: Vinyl Day

Explore our assortment of vinyl records with events celebrating vinyl culture, including giveaways, special offers, and exclusives.


patterson

July 26: James Patterson Day

Celebrate America’s bestselling author with a special one-day-only offer on all adult, kids’, and teen books by James Patterson.


drseuss

July 28, 7pm, and July 31, 7pm: Dr. Seuss Spectacular

What pet should we get? In celebration of the newly discovered Dr. Seuss book What Pet Should I Get?kids of all ages are invited to help us decide what pet we should get at a special Storytime event on July 28 at 7pm. On July 31 at 7pm, join us for the Dr. Seuss Spectacular, a celebration of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss. There’s fun to be done!


 

0 Comments on Barnes & Noble Announces “Get Pop-Cultured” Events for July! as of 6/12/2015 3:47:00 PM
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4. The Retailer’s View // Opening Daze

As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday and things are slow. At my former place of employment, Sundays were one of our busier days – people tend to have the day off, and wander into the store looking to blow some of their hard earned cash on comics and other sundry bits of pop culture. Here, we’ve yet to build that casual audience. We’re also not on a main drag, which tends to cut down on a lot of the walk-by traffic. I know that this slowness will change in time – the old shop used to be the same way, with Sunday dragging as the seconds sluggishly slid by until I started kicking up dust and making a bit of noise. We’re just a little over a month in at the new place, and we’re still growing.

What stops me from going crazy on these slow days is the fact that we’ve done exceedingly well in our first month. When we took our projections to the money people, we got a lot of side eye from bankers who (I’m assuming) thought these numbers were a bit off for the launch of a comic shop just a little off the beaten path. Turns out, they were right: we had underestimated how well we would launch significantly, and are now staring at some pretty great looking numbers. We also had enough cash flow and product that this underestimation didn’t wreck our stock right out of the gate, which was pretty nice. All in all – things have been good. Of course, that’s not to say there weren’t quite a few hiccups that occurred. There were, and there continue to be. This is what we’ll be exploring in this installment of The Retailers View – a bit about some of the hard stuff, some of the lessons learned, and about the uh… “joys” of launching your store right as two of the biggest companies in comics publishing run head on into events.

The Retailer's View

GRAND

First off: grand opening. In the days before our grand opening, we opened the store for limited hours to iron out some of the kinks – and boy, there were some kinks. The biggest was probably the fact that Diamond (the wonderful comics distributor) took it upon themselves to promise delivery of a Point Of Sale system that hadn’t even been shipped by the time we had been promised it would arrive at our shop. Another sizeable kink took the form of ethernet wiring that the contractor decided didn’t need termination points, so we had a bunch of opened ended chunks of wire strung through our shop, without the means to… I don’t know, connect them to anything? Which was also fun. These two problems cemented two valuable lessons for me: never trust an outside body to follow through on their promises, and always, always, always assume that a contractor will cut a corner unless you’ve written specific language preventing them from doing so into their contracts. Going forward, these two lessons helped prevent a mountain of potential problems from occurring, which was paramount to launching as well as we did.

VarEd

One of our store’s branding images, by Dylan Todd.

Part of the reason our Grand Opening went over so well was the fact that we hit the pavement hard in terms of getting our name out there. Our resources were relatively small, having what was effectively a budget of pocket change for marketing. To that end, I worked several existing connections to make a go of things. I’d already had a nice working relationship with one of the local television affiliates, so we arranged for an appearance the day before our big grand opening. We took to Twitter and spread the word, and ended up on two local podcasts – one specializing in various bits of media, and another focusing on local happenings – and “appeared” on the local CBC Radio One afternoon program “Radioactive”. We set up a store signing of the book The Outside Circle that featured art from a very talented acquaintance of mine, and that really amped up some of the sound we were making – especially given the quality of the story and talent involved. (By the way, if you see a copy of The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings, you should get it. It was the #1 selling graphic novel on Amazon in Canada, and it’s really great plug plug plug.) One of my friends also helped set up a table of David’s Tea in the shop, complete with workers, and at the end of the day, told us that we had the best showings they’d been to all year, which was cool to hear. Oh, and we launched on Free Comic Book Day because… seriously, what other day is going to have this much publicity for the industry as a whole?

So, the day itself ended up going incredibly well. There was a small line of people waiting out front before we opened, there was a constant stream of people all day long, I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in several months, and quite a few new faces. I also got some awesome surprise kicks from my family.

Sweet Kicks

Sweet kicks from the fam-jam.

At the end of the day, we decided that we’d all head out and eat and drink in celebration, but we only got as far as the “eating” before we felt so tired we called it a night. The next day, we manned the store as heaps on the ground. The cool tiles felt nice on our faces. So there was that.

ORDERLY

Beyond dealing with “opening” and “helping customers”, we spent a large chunk of our time getting all of our ducks in order for various distributors. Obviously we had Diamond set up long before our official opening but a store doesn’t quite run on Diamond alone. Or at the very least, it really shouldn’t. The longest set up had to be with Wizard’s of the Coast, which is still a bit of an ongoing process. Not only did they require the most hoop-jumping (take pictures of our product on your shelves before we send you any product, being my favourite), but they set those hoops up in tiers. The business’ Magic: The Gathering guy is the point man on all of that, so I’m not entirely up on the name of where we are now, but we just got ourselves bumped up from “being open” through to “Level 2”, which finally lets us order product from them, and sanction pre-releases with prize support. Not bad for a month’s worth of work, but it was a lot of work just to give someone our money. Even though I know why the hoops are there (one third “no randos getting retail pricing, one third customer appreciation, and one third incentivizing) I still think it’s silly to have a retailer go through so much just to be able to purchase things directly from you.

Variant Edition Store Front

That said, the bulk of these processes have been smooth enough – it just takes a bit of effort and a lot of patience (see the lesson regarding outside bodies and follow through) and suddenly, you’re golden. The real trick has come with figuring out our opening orders for comic series.

After working eight years in the industry, I’ve honed a system for ordering comics. The problem, of course, is that system requires some kind of ordering history and pre-built audience to function – so once more, I find myself flailing around like I did in my earlier days as the manager of the old shop – though that flailing has an air of learned confidence to it. What certainly hasn’t helped is the fact that when I was able to finally start placing orders, DC was entering Convergence (which I could have almost skipped ordering entirely… almost) and Marvel was a hair away from launching into Secret Wars. Now, on the plus side, having two of the industry’s biggest publishers on the cusp of relaunching their lines when you open your business can work in your favour – as you’re looking for new customers, they are literally serving up a platter of new number ones and jumping on points. On the downside, you’re making blind guesses based off a clientele you don’t entirely know, and completely new products. It’s a hard bit of business to guess on, and we’re still settling into what our numbers will be (only to see things blow up again when Marvel goes into their All New, All Different switch later this year), but we at least know enough that we haven’t blown our budget on things that just aren’t going to sell.

For those interested, the clientele seems to be a bit everywhere when it comes to single issues, with Secret Wars sitting comfortably at the top of the heap, due to Marvel absolutely nailing their Free Comic Book Day offerings, and the rest is a grab bag of independent publications and corporate comics. The real draw – beyond the perpetual (and quite different) churn of Magic: The Gathering cards – seems to be graphic novels, which in hindsight, is perfectly reasonable. Our goal with the shop has been to seek out and cater to new readers and build an audience using the diverse medium to hook in as many people as possible. Having hit this note, we find that a lot of people are discovering the medium through graphic novels, craving a complete experience as their gateway rather than parts of a whole. As a result, we’ve switched our ordering practices slightly to accommodate for this switch, so we’ll see how that goes in the coming months. Maybe we get an influx of people who just want single issues or superhero stories. Maybe this trend continues and pushes us into a completely different market than the old shop I worked at. It’s really hard to say, but I’m more than happy to find out.

Variant Edition High Fives

All three owners celebrating after the grand opening. That’s me in the back, my wife Danica to the right, and our business partner Brendan Capel to the left.

AND THE REST

There are so many other things I could talk about in regards to the first month, but I don’t think I’d be able to do everything justice and still keep your attention. I mean, I honestly believe that most of you have checked out by this point, preferring my columns where I spit fire at folks or burn through a bit of the mechanics of how comics retail in general – so in interest of not losing you lonely brave souls here at the end, I’m going to work through the rest as a series of bullet points.

  • Right after we had our grand opening, we started running a store podcast called Yegs and Bacon, which serves as a super awkward look at the week’s comics and recent pop culture news in a loose “morning show” format. Yes, trying to claim that a podcast can be a “morning show” is inherently ridiculous. No, we don’t really care. It’s a nice, fun thing that has let our customers into our lives a little, and folks seem to be responding to that quite a bit.
  • Whether you’re an old shop or a new shop, people are always looking to offload their old collections on you. More often than not, when you bring up the fact that you work at or own a comic shop in the wild, someone around you will tell you about how many comics they used to buy and proceed to ask if you’re interested in buying them. It’s gotten to the point where I’m shocked if this doesn’t happen at least once when I’m out and about. For the record, we are taking comics, but we’re not paying much for them. As I said above, we’re a shop that’s aimed towards new readers, so our back issues are filled with relatively inexpensive product. Even the comics that are supposedly “worth money” are going for relatively cheap because collectors eventually quit collecting, whether it’s because they’ve completed their quest, run out of money, moved, got married, had kids, bought a house, or “bought a farm” – whereas readers are everlasting – and there’s nothing that will chase off a reader faster than a $100 comic that they can read online for $2. You want to make sure you’re around years and years from now? Stop wheeling and dealing with the insular crowd, and start sharing the medium with others. That’s my advice, anyway. Again, we’ll see how this business model works, but for now, we seem to be doing pretty great.
  • We are very new, and our marketing budget continues to be relatively small, so we’ve been utilizing the hell out of social media. Facebook and Twitter tend to be where we’ve found the most traction, but to be fair, I think it’s also because I’ve already developed the habits of posting on both. Anyway, both of those do this thing where you can see how well certain tweets do with audience engagement. Some parts of it even let you compare your stats with that of others, which is surely going to lead me down the path to madness one day. For now though? It lets me know that we’re doing a pretty good job of engaging our audience with our style of posting. After all, you can post a million times a day, but if you’re not engaging your audience, it really means nothing. So we’re quite pleased with all that.
  • Our website is slowly coming together. The site was meant to have a fairly comprehensive online store, but that hit quite a snag when we couldn’t get out point of sale system working in time to really push things before grand opening – so we’re still putting some pieces together on that front. That said, we’ve placed subscriptions to series up on our site for people to peruse and add to their files, and more than a few have taken advantage of this. We have a request to build in a part where you can adjust your file online, but that has to wait until we have the bonus money to pay someone to code that to our liking. No sense in me building a clunky program that breaks or using a second party platform when there’s still a working system in place – better to wait and do things right when the opportunity arises.
  • Speaking of our website, you know what people like? Communication. Specifically, through your site. Having a blog has honestly brought more eyes to our business than anything else – plus it helps out with content for our social media feeds. The only trick? Keeping the blog updated. I can point to almost every other store in this city, and find the dead husk of a blog attached to their site. If I look outside the city, I can find a few shops that use their blog and online presence to talk shit about the things that they are selling which… is dumb. To say the least. I’ve never been able to grasp why someone would use their store’s online presence to bury creators or projects. Anyway, it should go without saying, but if you’ve committed to an online presence in any capacity, keep it moving, and keep it positive – at least in reference to the products that you’re selling. There’s more I could say about that, but that’s another column for another day.
  • Oh, and about our sign? So. The landlord had approved our sign (as required by our lease), and then once we got it processed and paid for, he came back to us and asked if we could do a metal sign instead, to match the signage already on the building. We eventually came to an agreement that we would use the sign we already had made for the first few months until we could get a metal sign done up to our liking ($$$$), but in order to avoid having weird holes in the front of the building when the metal sign finally came in, we just hung our sign on the inside of the shop. Not ideal, but it works… for now.
  • And finally, if starting up the store wasn’t enough, the wife and I moved out of our apartment at the end of the month, and in with her parents. The idea is to save a few dollars while we look for a new place for later in the year. So far, things are working out, and we’re glad we did it because – while the store looks like it would support us while paying our full rent, getting our saving rebuilt is one of our primary concerns. The only trick was, it added a heap of extra stress to this whole process.

And on that note, I’m going to wrap things up. You’ve been through enough, and I have roughly ten ideas for other columns that I should probably get to work on. One of them involves a new start up company that’s doomed to failure. Another is going to dig in deep into mass launches and what it means for retailers and fans alike. Something new and crazy is happening in this industry every week, and so you’ll be seeing a lot from me, now that the dust has settled a little more.

Until next time.

[Brandon Schatz is an owner of Variant Edition in Edmonton, Alberta and has spent the past nine years working behind the comic book counter. In his spare time, he writes about the comics and culture. You can find him on twitter @soupytoasterson and at his website, Submetropolitan. The opinions expressed are those of Schatz and do not necessarily reflect those of The Beat.]

1 Comments on The Retailer’s View // Opening Daze, last added: 6/11/2015
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5. Listen to all the panels, facts and figures from last week’s conference on French Comics


You all loved it when I tweeted stats, and now you can watch the ENTIRE panel section of last week’s French Comics Conference, held at the French Embassy and organized by Bureau International de l’Édition Française, or BIEF, along with Ivanka Hahnenberger. There’s a brief write-up on the event at the French Culture website. The panels consisted of dual reports on the US and French comcis markets with tons of exclusive statistics with Sophie Castille (Mediatoon) and Étienne Bonnin (Glénat) delivering numbers on France and Paul Levitz (former DC Comics publisher) and Karen Green (Columbia university’s graphic novel librarian), a roundtable on French comics in the US with PW’s Calvin Reid, Mark Siegel (First Second), Adam Lerner (Lerner Publishing Group/Graphics Universe) and Terry Nantier (NBM Publishing), retailer Terence Irvins (Kinokuniya Bookshops) and Consortium Distribution president Julie Schapner; and a report on Digital comics in France with David Steinberger (ComiXology), Claude de Saint-Vincent (Média Participations, Izneo).

This was a very high level event with great information so if you have any interest in world comics culture please check this out. If you can’t see the above video the direct ink is here.

For French speakers with a password, here’s Livres Hebdo’s write up on the event.

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6. Exclusive: Titan’s Doctor Who Comics Day poster art from series artist Neil Edwards

The folks at Titan are really teasing their upcoming three four Doctor crossover story line from Hugo-nominated Who writer Paul Cornell, slated for release on August 12 ahead of their second annual Doctor Who Comics Day on August 15. On Monday, Diamond revealed the poster art to advertise the upcoming Doctor Who Comics Day event to their retailers. Drawn by series artist Neil Edwards (Justice League United), you’ll be seeing the art in local comic shops in the near future, but allow us to leak that to you now, Whovians:

DW_Door_Poster_2015_v2 (2)

 

So we’ve got three Doctors, a TARDIS, and what looks like a rock quarry. No sign of the War Doctor, though…wait! What’s that shadowy figure in the upper left of the lower image?

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7. DC unveils “DC You” marketing campaign

DCYou_CharacteraAds_part1_fnl.indd

There had to be a reason the new West Coast Dc hired all those branding, licensing and content managers. It’s to create a new branding message and it is…”DC You.” Which sounds like it might be an insult but is really a way of saying that these comics are for YOU.

The new DCyou url is live, and here’s the ad campaign. SPOILERS!!!!

 

DC Entertainment revealed a bold new advertising campaign today titled “DC YOU.”  The campaign shines a spotlight on the New DC Universe (DCU) line of comic books, and reinforces the company’s commitment to creating a diverse offering of titles – something for everyone. 

“With the New DC Universe, there’s a story for every kind of DC Comics fan.  There’s a story for YOU,” stated Amit Desai, senior vice president of marketing and global franchise management, DC Entertainment.   “The DC Comics slate rolling out this summer truly offers a comic book for everyone and our new advertising campaign – DC YOU – celebrates this bold, new direction.”  

Beginning June 3, the new DCU will consist of 24 brand-new series as well as 25 on-going, best selling fan-favorite series, resulting in the most ambitious DC Comics lineup-to-date.   Celebrating the new direction of the DC Universe, the DC YOU advertising campaign will focus on four main themes:

  • Characters – DC Entertainment will highlight its iconic characters, like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as popular characters, such as Batgirl, Black Canary, Bizarro, Cyborg and Starfire.
  • Talent – The campaign will spotlight top writers and artists, as well as emerging fresh voices, who are on board to help create an expansive line of comics that appeals to a broad audience of fans.  Comic talent featured in the campaign include Batman’s Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Superman’s Gene Luen Yang and John Romita Jr., Justice League’s Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok, Justice League of America’s Bryan Hitch, Black Canary’s Brendon Fletcher and Annie Wu, among many others.
  • Stories – The campaign will engage the readership, showcasing the diverse range of styles and genres as well as approaches to storytelling across the New DCU through various taglines, such as Are YOU ready to laugh?, Are YOU ready to hashtag this?, and Are YOU ready for the new awesome?
  • Fans – As the campaign name suggests, the New DCU is first and foremost about our fans and our commitment to creating great stories for all fans.  The campaign will celebrate life-long fans as well as those new to comics.  

DC YOU will appear in print inserts and ads across DC Entertainment’s physical and digital comic books beginning May 20. Digital ads featuring video content will begin airing June 3 across major online platforms.  

The campaign will come to life on the DC Comics website (DCComics.com/DCYOU) and multiple DC Comics social media channels will encourage fans to celebrate and share their DCU via hashtag #DCYOU.  And this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego(July 9-12) will bring DC YOU directly to fans in fun and engaging ways.

As part of DC YOU, DC Entertainment will also offer comic book retailers weekly promotional packs filled with collectible items inspired by the New DCU line of comic-books.  These items will include posters, masks, temporary tattoos, stickers and are sure to encourage fans to visit their local comic book shop each week.

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15 Comments on DC unveils “DC You” marketing campaign, last added: 5/22/2015
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8. The Retailer’s View // Bridging A Gap With The Archie Kickstarter

The Retailer's View

So I launched a comic store on Free Comic Book Day. It was quite the trick, trying to get things ready for the day with things exploding all around. We had ordered a point of sale system from Diamond, but when we phoned to ask them where it was a week after the supposed delivery date, we were told it had yet to ship. Before that moment, we were assured that it was on its way numerous times. We buckled down, bought the disperate parts of a computer, and assembled the damn thing ourselves with installed software. All in all, by the time we opened our doors to a line of already waiting customers, we were equal parts ready and not ready at all, but prepared enough to make the day work perfectly.

While I’m still new at owning a shop, it appears as though the feeling of prepared chaos is at the heart of running a small business. Measured doses of fear mix with confidence and produce a sheen of outward competence. That’s what I’ve taken from this experience and the numerous books and articles I read about making a go of things.

It will always be a tough go when you’re a relatively small force working against the never-ending tendrils of life and circumstance, but with enough diligence, passion and luck, things can always work out. The trick, it seems, is being able to find creative solutions to problems when they arise, using popsicle sticks and glue with enough ingenuity to hold the weight until you can afford a sturdier foundation. The other trick, is convincing people that what they’re standing on, is concrete.

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Earlier this week, Archie Comics announced a Kickstarter that would see the launch of their #NewRiverdale initiative. Born out of the excitement surrounding the company’s upcoming Archie #1 with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, the company was (and still is) asking for $350,000 to fund the production and marketing for the first six issues of three companion books in the line – a Jughead title with Chip Zdarsky and an unnamed artist, a Betty and Veronica book with Adam Hughes providing script and art, and a Life with Kevin series, written and drawn by the character’s creator Dan Parent, with inks from artist J. Bone. Needless to say, the internet had questions and opinions about this. Why would a company like Archie need to do a Kickstarter? Were they cash strapped? In trouble? What happens if the Kickstarter isn’t funded? And if it is, where does the money go specifically?

To the company’s credit, they came back and answered most of the questions brought up with swiftness and as much transparency as they could muster. They met the base question of “why seek funding” with vague details about distribution and retail real estate deals with Wal-Mart and Target, and the nebulous costs thereof. If the Kickstarter isn’t funded, they said they would still be moving forward with those titles, but the timelines and formatting might have to change. The biggest question about this Kickstarter that currently remains unanswered is in regards to the breakdown of where the money will go. That’s perfectly understandable, as there’s not a smart business in the world that would willingly divulge the details of various contracts and cost specifics to the general public. That said, there is a disconnect that remains – and it all comes back to the structure that Archie is building for this new line, with this Kickstarter.

I’ve spent a few days reading up on the specifics of this Kickstarter, and I’ve spent a few years ordering comics from this company, so what follows is the appearance of this popsicle structure from this specific vantage point. Please keep in mind, I do not have any inside information on the company, their financials, or the specifics of this Kickstarter beyond what they have willingly offered the public using various platforms and forums. That said, so much of this business is built on perception, that I feel the need to detail exactly what Archie’s structure looks like to a person in my position: the retailer who will be supporting this initiative in store with orders, and the new business man, who just went through the process of procuring funding for his own (smaller scale) project.

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Let’s start with the Kickstarter. I’m a big fan of Kickstarter, and its ability to sell a product directly to customers who need it. If I’m being perfectly honest, going to Kickstarter was an option that we (my business partners and I) were thinking of when we were looking to fund our store. Eventually we decided against it because of the various responsibilities and connotations that Kickstarter brings with it. As with all requests for funding, you have to put forth a solid business plan and superior product in order to receive what you need to go forth. Opting for the relatively easier process of heading to various banking institutions with our hats in hands afforded us the opportunity to detail our plans, services and structure in relative secret. Going with Kickstarter means you have to provide the public with sufficient reasoning to fund your project, as well as the math to back that up.

The big problem Archie Comics is running into involves warring ideas. As a self-sufficient publishing company, they have certain contracts and financial details that they need to keep confidential. However, they are taking a step out of the “self-sufficient” bounds by asking for money – which demands that the math be shown. It might be a popsicle stick solution to a unique problem, but they are doing a poor job in convincing me that it can support the weight.

Don’t get me wrong: Archie as a company isn’t saying anything wrong. They are building a compelling narrative around this Kickstarter that I can get behind. They aren’t Marvel and DC. They don’t have parent companies, and so while they might be big, they’re still relatively small. This affords them the opportunity to move and change with greater ease, but such freedom also comes with a lack of safety net, so to speak. Opportunities arose, and tied up some funds. It happens. What’s losing me are the actions that have surrounded this launch, as well as the product currently being offered with the Kickstarter.

Over the past four years, the company stopped publishing their digest line, and now only produce double digests, and “jumbo” digests. They had a line of seven single issue comics including Archie, Archie and Friends, Betty & Veronica, B&V Spectacular, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, which – before the announcement of any #NewRiverdale titles, had dwindled down to an almost monthly Archie title, and a bi-monthly Betty & Veronica. Books like Kevin Keller started up and heralded in a wave of change including which brought about titles like Life with Archie, Afterlife with Archie and the new Sabrina series. The first two concluded their runs long ago, while the latter titles have slipped on the publishing schedule hard. Afterlife with Archie #5 shipped a year ago today, and issue #8 just shambled it’s way onto the stands, with #9 still waiting to be resolicited and put back on the schedule. The first issue of Sabrina came out in October, and the second one didn’t ship until April, giving me the opportunity to quit my job and open a small business in between with room to spare. #3 is supposed to come out this May, and issue #4 has yet to be resolicited. At this point, I don’t expect #3 to come out anytime soon, and the subsequent issues of both titles probably won’t be seen until August at the soonest.

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Now additionally, Archie has their Dark Circle line up and running. Conceived as decidedly un-Archie takes on characters in their superhero catalogue, it is the third launch of the line in almost as many years. The first happened in late 2012 when the company launched New Crusaders alongside an ambitious digital program that would later inform Marvel’s own Unlimited app. This came to an abrupt stop a few months later, with plans for the second arc being scrapped after three issues were solicited, never to be published. The line popped up again in late 2013 with the first arc of Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid’s version of The Fox. It too ran five issues before disappearing from the schedule until now. Right now, the Dark Circle line appears to be doing okay. Issues continue to ship, but the new Shield title that is to be part of the line was already bumped back a couple months, and had to be resolicited.

The publisher also promised a Lena Dunham written run on Archie in the first half of this year, that has yet to appear on the schedule. Now, there are almost definitely reasons for all of these things. From my understanding, the superhero line took a couple of tries to stick, and this time it just might – especially given the caliber of work being produced. The horror line had delays owing to writer Roberto Aguire-Sacassa’s involvement in writing a treatment for a pilot based off of the Archie characters that was being considered at Fox, and Francesco Francavilla getting dinged by a car. The Lena Dunham thing? Honestly, she’s probably busy and comics don’t really pay a lot. Learning a new language in comic scripting could have pushed things back, or maybe they’re holding onto it to follow up Mark Waid and Fiona Staples on the main Archie title. It’s hard to say, and I doubt they would tell me the specifics of a project in development like that. Regardless, the company has had a less than stellar track record in terms of content production over the past few years, and the through line seems to be excitement outweighing timing. This Kickstarter seems to be a continuation of this trend, as the company wants to get the full slate of companion titles on the table as swiftly as possible to capitalize on the groundswell of interest that Archie #1 is getting them.

There’s also a problem with the product that is being offered as part of the Kickstarter – which features a bevy of options ranging from print comics to digital downloads. The main thrust seems to be built around physical copies of the books to come, with print comics being offered at the $10 tier. There’s a couple of reasons why this doesn’t quite work. The first is simple: despite whatever digital accoutrement that comes with the physical product, the company is still asking funders to spend $10 on something that will be worth $3.99 on the stands. Beyond that, they are offering the very same product that will be on the stands in comic shops, albeit with a different cover, at some levels. Beyond asking $10 minimum for this privilege, they are ensuring that copies of the self same book will be in the hands of readers who will then not have to go into shops.

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Now, I am completely fine with content taking the most direct approach to the consumer. In a perfect world, that’s the best delivery system for getting product to readers, and even as a retailer, I don’t mind being cut out of that equation. The problem – or at least the problem as I see it – is the fact that with Archie #1 already in hand, there would be a handful of people who won’t come in store to grab a copy from retailers. This in turn could communicate a lack of interest in the product to retailers in some way, shape or form. Even if the book still goes over like gangbusters, who will be returning for the second issues? In addition to figuring out regular reader retention, retailers will have to guess at potential interest from parties who already have first issues.

Walk your digital fingers around this site for a little bit and take a look at the nearest sales chart. Retailers by default are a cautious bunch – and who can really blame them when the product they’re being provided is non-returnable? As a result, they will account for a potential loss sooner than they’ll account for a potential sale more often than not – and that would go doubly for something that they can’t even come close to measuring, like the amount of Kickstarter product Archie will have sent out to their region. Those non-existent customers on day one will be counted as such, and the numbers going forward will reflect that, which is not a good look for this line.

Beyond that, there are things that Archie could do to turn this around. Unfortunately, at this point, they can’t change their recent publication track record – at least not in terms of recent launches. They can put emphasis on their Action line of Sonic and Mega Man comics, which has delivered consistently through out the years. That’s proof positive that they can deliver, and that should clearly be noted. As for the problems with product delivery, if I’m seeking funding from someone (and I was, just recently), they’re going to want to know the specifics of why these delays happened, and what is being done to prevent that from happening going forward.

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As it stands, there’s very little out there that fills me with confidence in terms of how this product will be delivered in a timely manner. Fiona Staples does the art for Saga, and that book comes out on a modified schedule to make sure it comes out on time, as promised. It’s a great system that has allowed the book to soar in terms of creative energy, and physical sales. Is there a sufficient amount of time allotted for Staples to produce the artwork Archie needs in a timely manner while Saga continues? If not, is there a plan in place for the books’ shipping schedule? I know there have been reports that Fiona’s only contracted for three issues, which seems likely given her schedule, and Saga has been promised to continue at its current pace. Would Archie feature rotating artists or creative teams coming in to work on the book as needed? Will there be scheduled breaks occurring in between arcs? Both?

And what of the new books announced? As it stands, Jughead doesn’t have an artist attached, Adam Hughes is a notoriously slow artist, and the company still hasn’t decided what the print component of their Kevin Keller title will be. There seems to be a lot of pieces that have yet to slide in place, and these need to be addressed sooner rather than later. At the very least, something more should be said than Archie Comics CEO and Publisher Jon Goldwater saying, “In an ideal world these books would be monthly, yes. We would strive to have them out as regularly as possible.” Promising to try real hard is quite different than making sure there is a structure in place to ensure the product is delivered in a timely manner conducive to piquing and retaining reader interest and the money of retailers. This absolutely needs to be addressed first and foremost.

The other thing I would do is offer a Kickstarter exclusive product that will attract attention. Offering a product that will soon be available at a reduced price, even with all the digital support, is not enough for consumers, and is counter-productive for the titles’ ongoing sales. If you’re asking for $10 for a $3.99 product, you should make it something that will not be available otherwise. Toss in a digital copy of Archie #1 with a 24 page physical comic. Make eight or twelve of those pages an exclusive story that won’t be available individually otherwise. Fill the rest of the comic with concept art, preview images, or bits of pitch documents. Something like that is worth at least $10, and would go a long way to offering something unique to Kickstarter backers. Essentially: give your investors reason to invest, instead of asking for $10 while handing them a $4 product.

I want Archie to succeed. I want to see these books on the stands, and I want to sell these books to people, because I’m pretty sure they’re going to enjoy them. While I appreciate the unique circumstances the company finds themselves in, they have a lot of work to do in order to convince me that this is the right solution for this point in time – that this popsicle structure will hold the weight of what they’re building on top of it without collapsing. As a retailer, I need to see this before I can place orders with more confidence, and as a consumer and potential investor in this endeavour, I need a little bit more to free the funds to help make this happen. After all, while things might not be ideal, you still need to convince people there’s concrete at the foot of this. That, as it turns out, is what business is all about.

6 Comments on The Retailer’s View // Bridging A Gap With The Archie Kickstarter, last added: 5/18/2015
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9. MATT CHATS: “Lord Retail” on Selling Comics, Dealing with Digital and a Lot More

This is MATT CHATS, a weekly interview series with people involved in the making, publishing or selling comics. This week I spoke to someone in that last category. Jermaine Exum (a.k.a. “Lord Retail”) is the manager of Acme Comics in Greensboro, North Carolina. He’s built up a memorable web presence through message boards and Twitter, along with a great podcast named Acmecast, and seemed like the perfect person to discuss retailing with. Here’s my talk with Lord Retail.

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Jermaine Exum, written into a comic by Brian Michael Bendis.

Was it always a goal to network and make contacts through message boards and social media, or was that a happy accident?

It was absolutely not a goal. I was on the job at Acme for years before discovering comics discussion boards on the internet. I briefly used, what were they called, Newsgroups? The things where there were seemingly endless thread chains. But once I started at the store as an official employee I operated in isolation. I didn’t know it was isolation at the time though. We did the best we could in our part of Greensboro and that was the focus. The short story is that I went to Wizard World Chicago in 2004 which was very different from what I was used to as a Charlotte Heroes Con regular. My main take away was the Brian Michael Bendis panel where I saw several people join him on stage. This was at a time when I didn’t necessarily know what all creators looked like barring those on the Wizard Top Ten lists, so I assumed perhaps they were his family. Come to find out they were members of his Jinxworld message board. Upon learning that I was determined to be on stage with him next year. When I got home I chose a user name, Lord Retail as sci-fi writer M.A. Foster sometimes called me in the shop, and I joined. Over the course of a year I brought a retailer perspective to the discussions as well as recommendations of things to read similar to what I do for customers in the store. Then at the 2005 Wizard World Chicago, a fellow board member by the screen name of JustJeffery gave up his seat on the panel so I could be on the stage as well. 

How has your networking had a direct impact on the success of Acme Comics?

A lot of publishers, websites, and creators had message boards. But Bendis’ was the one I chose because of what I saw at the Wizard convention, how close he seemed to be with his fans from Jinxworld. I feel like I was a part of Bendis’ message board at precisely the right time. Both for me personally and for the utilization of the internet as part of the industry and fandom. I met fellow retailers like James Sime from Isotope in San Francisco which did a lot to reduce that feeling of retail isolation. I felt less like I was rolling the retail rock up the hill each day once I was able to talk to so many others and share ideas and solutions as well as frustrations. At that time the “eyes of the industry” were watching. Many creators actively used the board and interacted with posters, but many more just observed passively. Through that message board I met South Carolina’s Jonathan Hickman who came to Acme twice for Free Comic Book Day events, the late Jeremy Dale from Atlanta who was a FCBD regular for several years. I met Jim McCann who was with Marvel’s marketing department at the time and was a tremendous contact for me as a retailer. At that time there was no Marvel sales rep, but due to some of the posts I made, Bendis introduced me to David Gabriel who is now Marvel’s Senior VP of Sales. Communicating with him about various things that I felt needed reprints or stories that should be collected was a gamechanger. I won’t claim responsibility for it, but I did suggest that if Avengers #500-502 was collected as a Marvel Must Haves bumper edition, we would be able to sell more copies of the final issue #503 and the Avenger Finale. And when Marvel did reprint those issues as a Must Haves we were able to order and sell more copies of #503 and the Finale. So to say that networking online had a direct impact on the success of Acme Comics is an understatement. It raised our profile on a national level, with publishers, with creators. And it is where “Lord Retail” was born. As silly as that name sounds to me most of the time, it is a name that isn’t entirely unknown. I could only keep up with one message board and once I began to use Twitter in earnest I realized I could only keep up with one social media platform so the energy that was devoted to the message board converted to that. But I kept the Lord Retail name for Twitter and Instagram or some derivation of it. Sometimes I’m recognized and other times I’ve forged brand new credibility for myself and Acme Comics.

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How do you think it might have it had an indirect impact?

Indirectly is hard to say as its indirect. But its all about getting the name out there. Sometimes I have no taste for what I lovingly refer to as “shameless self promotion” but other times that is exactly what you have to do if you’re a retailer, creator, or publisher. You have to put yourself out there and also distinguish yourself. If you know the Word Balloon podcast, in its earlier days, the Bendis Tapes would consist of a call for questions on the message board that would be answered via the podcast. So through that, assuming my question wasn’t directly a retailer question, Bendis would be kind enough to say what store I was with. I remember there was a band traveling from the Pacific Northwest to the southeast who detoured a ways out of their way to come through Greensboro to visit Acme because they heard Bendis talk about the store on a Word Balloon podcast. That was and still is incredible. I’m pretty sure that many businesses would pay cash money to focus groups and marketing teams for that type of response. That kind of indirect impact continues. I’ve met creators at cons and introduced myself as Jermaine of Acme Comics. Then someone passes by, says hello to me as “Lord Retail,” then the creator recognizes that name and has a totally different reaction once they associate me with my online identity. Always a positive reaction. Once the creator knows who I am and that I am a serious retailer, they will sometimes share with me information I need to make smart orders as a retailer or develop marketing strategies beyond the generic solicitations. That was critical and invaluable on many occasions where we maximized sales on a new release or paperbacks that compliment new releases. Massive impact in an industry where their either is no sales rep, they don’t know anything, or they can’t tell you anything for fear you will abuse the information. But publishers and creators have treated me like a business professional since the advent of Lord Retail and not a fan retailer who will ruin or spoil their hard work. I have always and only used information to make the right choices for the store.

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“God Hates Astronauts” by Ryan Browne.

Do you have a specific audience in mind for those Tuesday night tweets about the next day’s releases?

When I make my Tuesday Night Cheatsheet tweets, no that hasn’t caught on as a hashtag, my primary audience are customers who are stuck in ruts, buying patters, or otherwise do not try new things. Customer who will not buy issue #7 or #33 of a series because they don’t have the #1. I’m from a generation of readers who rarely had access to first issues of anything. It was a rare and special moment to get a first issue compared to today’s frequency of first issues. Sometimes you have to sample a series to see if you like the format, the color, the storytelling. If a series added three to five preorders at all the stores out there, which would then cause them to increase orders to put a few copies out there on series they know how to sell, I think that would move the needle. The other audience I want to reach are other retailers. We’re all busy people and few are able to read everything or even several of the things they put on the shelves each week. But if I can share a pitch for something that I developed or a new marketing angle, this week I realized that the new Spider-woman series is something that fans of Fraction’s Hawkeye could absolutely connect with, then I will share that so other retailers can see what they can do. I’m big on figuring out what you know how to sell as a store. When we put Batman or Amazing Spider-man on the shelf, to a large degree they sell themselves. But books like God Hates Astronauts and Nailbiter, you have determine how to hand sell those series and who to sell them to. So anything I can do to help that process or at least get stores to think about that, I will do. Including reading 30+ comics over three t four hours. That’s not the way to enjoy comics, but its part of the job as I’ve defined it for myself. I will admit that reading each Convergence tie in this week took a toll on me. Not the quality of the work, but simply eye strain which is becoming an issue as I get older and may have to be a bit more selective than I currently am as far as Tuesday nights.

Acme Comics is a regional business, so how effective is your national/international presence at attracting customers?

Acme started in 1983 and was very much a regional business, but James Sime introduced me to the Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing award that is a part of San Diego Comic Con. I’m pretty sure he nominated the store the very first time we were nominated. And we were nominated for that award in the company of stores all over the world for six years in a row until this year. You can’t beat that type of exposure. We have customers who visit us from Brazil, Germany, England, France and other countries. We’re a destination for them whenever they are in North Carolina. I can’t directly say that they discovered us because of our online presence or if they found us via comic shop locator and enjoyed what we offer and the way we offer it. That’s a chicken or the egg scenario. I do know that our Acmecast podcast does reach out further than I could image. Apparently at the recent East Coast Comic Con, someone heard Stephen speaking at our table and told him that he was a regular listener when he was in China. We assumed the downloads in that region were errors or spam bots, but apparently not. Again that level of recognizability is something other industries would kill for.

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What kinds of efforts do you make for Acme Comics to be an indy-friendly shop?

There’s nothing wrong with primarily carrying Marvel and DC if they is the customer base and the store is satisfied only servicing that customer base. But as of right now it is impossible to ignore the fact that Image Comics is a force to be reckoned with in an all new way than in the 1990s. We’ve watched readers make evolutionary jumps in their tastes in an incredibly short people of time. In the past it took readers, myself included, years to break free of blind brand loyalty to try things from other publishers. DC’s New 52 did bring in new readers, but specifically with the debut of Fatale many of those readers instantly made the jump to Image Comics as a company to trust and watch. And from there Boom Studios or Valiant. They learned creator names like Hickman and Brubaker from mainstream material and trusted them to follow them to other publishers. I feel like those are more mainstream though and a true independent would be Black Mask right now. Because of the expanded palate that Image Comics created We Can Never Go Home got on the radar and is performing extremely well, more so than anything else from Black Mask so far. We sold out of issue #2 so fast on Wednesday morning that a newer customer actually believed we didn’t carry any copies which wasn’t true. They unfortunately arrived too late to grab one off the shelf. But if you follow the Acme Comics Instragram you’ve seen that we have a strong 10AM response from customers who hit the shelf hard to make their selections as soon as we open. Again its all about really looking through Previews magazine and studying the solicitations to see if there is something you know how to sell. If we have more than three preorders in on something new and untested, we try to really look at it to determine if it is something that perhaps seven or more people would buy if we could explain what it was and copies were available.

You’ve mentioned in that past that Acme Comics primarily focuses on comics. What other kinds of products do you sell?

Comics and graphic novels are the focus and core. That includes silver and bronze age comics, golden age if possible. As well as hardcovers and omnibus editions. We only carry brand new copies from the publishers, nothing used unless it is something critical that is otherwise out of print. We carry statues of iconic characters from Bowen and more recently Kotobukiya and Gentle Giant. We brand out a bit in our sister store Acme Comics Presents which is next door to the main stop. The focus there is all ages comics and graphic novels, but its also where we present additional items a comics fan might be into like S.H. Figuarts and S.H. Monsterarts action figures, props like the Batman utility belt, and vintage Transformers because that’s the thing I know best second to comics.

Are you exploring those categories less fully because of less interest, or for some other reason?

Being great at one thing as opposed to being just ok at three or four things is more important to us. I don’t know gaming. I literally don’t know how to do it and definitely don’t know how to sell it as a concept. So we don’t do it and never will. We dabbled in Magic cards in my early days but never offered in store gaming. You really have to do that well so it doesn’t encroach or disenfranchise the core comics fans and you have to be watchful that it quietly doesn’t become a less than profitable enterprise. Often stores that are successful at that kind of diversification will have a staffer who specializes in gaming, or comics, or some other area. It was more important to us to apply that knowledge diversification to comics and graphic novels. There will be general recommendations, but when customers have specific genres that they’d like recommendations for its helpful to have staff that enjoys, and through enjoying specialize in, science fiction, horror, super-hero, true independent, crime noir, etc. And if they enjoy those genres there will be cross pollenation between staff thereby strengthening the skill set they are able to draw upon for customers.

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I often read about how ComiXology and other digital distributors aren’t affecting the direct market, and know it’s not entirely true because I personally shifted away from print. What are your thoughts on the rise of digital comics and the effect that has on local comic book shops?

We do lose customers to digital. It happens to all stores whether the customer lets them know or not. It could be due to cost, portability issues, hardcopy issues, etc. But more frequently than that loss, digital comics have brought us customers. The digital comics marketplace is what the newsstand once was. That is where some new readers are born and where they sample a variety of available material. But frequently there is so much available that it is overwhelming. Imagine if you are interested in reading Spider-man and you’d like to do it using your tablet or other device. Here you go, here’s Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Sensational Spider-Man, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, and Ultimate Spider-Man. Here’s everything. Enjoy! There comes a point where that can be overwhelming and a bit of guidance would be helpful. That’s where the comic book store comes into play. Many customers come in already aware of Saga or Walking Dead because they read it digitally. When you come to the comic book store, that is where a reader may discover Ex Machina or Outcast. And in many case, not all, that customer will trust the local business who turned them onto a new series and will continue to shop with them to some degree if not entirely. Right now interest is high and it is the brick and mortar stores’ game to win or lose. You have to put your best foot forward with customer service, follow through for customers, and being a welcoming environment. The experience of being a part of a community and knowing who it is you are choosing to money locally with can trump digital convenience or online discounts.

With all of the attention you’ve gotten on your own personal brand, have you ever considered opening a store of your own?

I haven’t considered opening my own store because Acme is my store. Not literally, as I am just the manager. I shouldn’t say just, but I always have and continue to do so. Next year will be my twentieth year with the business which I’m pretty sure means that I have been with Acme longer than anyone else. Someone once said, you don’t change horses mid-stream and that’s still my thinking. I’m not across the stream yet. I have begun to think of Lord Retail as more of a brand as well as what my skills are other than reorganizing Spawn back issues and swiping cards though. Even in the best possibly circumstances, day to day retail drains the life energy out of you when it comes to personal projects. Your creator owned projects so to speak. But I hope to have something, anything, exciting to report sooner than later.

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“Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar & Steve McNiven.

What is Acme Comics doing to attract customers and sell comics that you aren’t seeing at other stores?

I think we attract customers by having a variety of comics and graphic novels we display in an attractive and eye catching way. We do have general shelves of course, but we are fortunate in that we have space to get creative. Wall of comics or rows of paperbacks can be overwhelming with everything blending together and very little distinguishing itself. Especially to new readers. New readers are not a myth, they exist. We have the space to give Image paperbacks their own display where some volume ones can be face out. We can create a display for the duration of Secret Wars were the issues will live as they release along with pertinent paperbacks such as Old Man Logan. The goal is to be friendly and attentive and not oppressive or aggressive. Our job is to connect people to the stories they want or the stories they may enjoy based on what we have heard them tell us. Or job is not to move units of product. And I think that experience makes us a destination store. We have many customers who bypass more convenient locations in the area or other parts of North Carolina and Virginia to reach us which is something that is not lost on us. I can’t say what is or is not on the shelves at other stores, I’m in Acme most of the time and nowhere else. Sometimes a person from somewhere out in the world will tweet to me that they can’t find something. But the solution to that is building a preorder relationship with the store. That is simply to say: I am interested in this item and I will buy it from you if you make it available to me. The comics industry is crazy, but that’s a fairly straight forward agreement. There are series we have cultivated readership for that perhaps is not common to all stores. Chris Giarrusso’s G Man graphic novels are a very known quantity among kids in Greensboro. They know the character and in many cases they grew up with the character. Even I forget that sometimes. We’ve built up a relationship with Chris over the years and at least once a year we bring him in to meet the customers. There is no marketing or advertising that works better than potential fans meeting the creator of material and having a great experience. That creates instant loyalty. Its easy to forget that comics are made by people, in some cases many people, and not by a machine.

Where do you see comic book shops going in the next several years, and even further than that?

Just today we were talking about how with the advances in technology, the video store is gone. The record store as an idea still exists, but struggles. The comic book store as an idea has endured. And I think a major contributing factor is the sense of community that a great comic book store can have. Familiar faces that recognize you and connect with you to varying degrees. If you’ve heard of the community building concept of the third place, the comic book store can be the third place. The first place is your home, the second place is where you work, but the third place is where you go for interaction, to be social, to experience a commonality of interest, or some combination of those. That is how the comic book store can remain relevant and through hard work, creativity, and attention to details it can remain financially viable. 

1 Comments on MATT CHATS: “Lord Retail” on Selling Comics, Dealing with Digital and a Lot More, last added: 5/13/2015
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10. Interview: Retailer Brian HIbbs on the Minimum Wage and Surviving in San Francisco

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Brian Hibbs, far right, and some of his Comics Experience staff. Photo from the CE website

 

The other day we presented a story on long running SF comics shop Comix Experience and their plans to increase revenue in the face of the local rise in the minimum wage: a graphic novel book club that’s already had a positive response. It’s a serious issue for small business owners, and led to a lively comments section. I reached out to Hibbs to see if he had any comments on the comments and ever loquatious, he suggested an interview. The results can be read below.

Comis Experience has two locations, the iconic Divisidero St. shop just off Haight St. site of many famed signings by creators from Neil Gaiman to Warren Ellis and an early adapter of the grahpic novel movement; and a newer more superhero focused store on Ocean Ave. that Hibbs took over from a previous business last year. Hibbs has long been one of the most vocal comics retailers. His Tilting at Windmills column at CBR is must reading and the comics review blog he started Savage Critics is, unbelievably, still running after 10 years or so. I’m grateful for him to take the time to talk about issues that are sure to become more and more pressing around the country.

THE BEAT: In the Beat comments and a few other places you’ve gotten a lot of free advice on running a store in the Bay Area. Did you expect that when you announced this plan?


HIBBS: After seeing what happened to Alan Beatts of Borderlands Books after he told his story earlier this year, in the public comments sections of Facebook or mainstream news stories — people accusing him of being a monster or much worse — I was expecting a lot more advice from people without all of the facts! Welcome to the internet!

The thing is that these are flashpoint issues for a lot of people, with political under-currents that can’t really be ignored, and I totally get that, but I’m most interested in keeping my store moving into the future, and doing the best I possibly can by my wonderful staff.

THE BEAT: Just to make it as clear as possible when talking about something as personal as what people make for a living, the current minimum wage in California is $9 an hour. I believe you mentioned this in your own comment, but can you confirm that you currently pay your employees more than that?  As I understand your comment, you would still have to raise wages in compliance with the new SF minimum wage hike?


HIBBS: Federal MW is $7.25, California is $9, San Francisco is (today this second) $11.05, and moves it to $12.25 in May (not July like I stupidly wrote in the original pitch), then to $13 on 7/1/16, $14 on 7/1/17 and $15 on 7/1/18.

I think it is also important for people to understand that San Francisco’s MW does not STOP at $15/hour after that — San Francisco has an older law that sets annual increases to the amount that the Consumer Price Index (tracked by the Federal government) in the Greater Bay Area rises.  Historically, this is 2-3% a year.  Therefore in 2019 it might be $15.45, $15.91 in 2020, $16.39 in 2021, and so on

But, anyway, at this second in time we’re obligated to pay $11.05/hour MW in San Francisco.  However, we don’t pay MW, except for an initial three month training period.  I have no employee currently that is making less than $11.25.

The thing is, as MW rises, so do we need to raise our pay — I’ve spent twenty-six years being a not-MW job (well, twenty-five, because I worked seven days a week in year one), and I don’t want to begin now.  When MW is raised by $1.20/hour in May, I believe that means that the people I pay $11.25 today will need to make no less than $12.45 at that point, because, otherwise, are we not effectively CUTTING their pay?  In the same way, I have to pay my managers more so that there’s, y’know, a financial benefit for being a manager, and they’re not making the same as “just” staff — and I can’t raise it less than the amount MW is raising by, otherwise, again, they’re effectively getting a cut.

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Comix Experience Outpost on Ocean Ave.

THE BEAT: Doing back of the envelope math, $80K comes to $220 a day, which is a pretty hefty added expense for any small business. That would equal selling 55 periodical comics a day more, to put it in perspective. Were there any other methods besides a book club that you considered to make up the shortfall?


HIBBS: Fifty-five $3.99 comics, but more like seventy-four that cost $2.99.  And I can’t change those cover prices — we’d lose more customers than we would gain in revenue!

For people asking about the math, it works like this: I have roughly 190 employee hours each week between the two stores.  We’re open 10 hours a day at each of the two stores, seven days a week, so you can see that’s really not a tremendous overlap of hours to get all of the labor done that simply can’t be done with only one person in the store who is expected to be, y’know, helping customers find the things they want (or discover things they don’t know they want yet!)

The difference between today’s MW and 2018 is $3.95 /hour.  $3.95 times 190 hours times fifty-two weeks a year equals just over $39,000 then we have to add about another $3,000 for the matching taxes that all employers pay for Social Security and Medicare, so that’s $42,000 more that staff will cost. (not counting the new-this-year California mandated minimum Sick Days, either!)

However, in order to make forty-two thousand dollars, this means I have to sell roughly eighty-four thousand dollars worth of merchandise because the Cost of Goods Sold is (very roughly) half of the income — no one is keeping $3.99 from a $3.99 comic book!

I rounded down for ease of communication, but I probably just as easily could have rounded up to $90k because of the various overhead costs that have to be dealt with (shipping, primarily, but there are always other marginal costs that begin to add up quick)

But, yeah, $80k+ is a big hill to climb for a small business.

I do have a few other ways I can help close the gap — I can certainly reduce the number of hours the stores operates for one, though it would help less than you might think because, often, the stores are slowest in the MIDDLE of the day.  Further, the great Jim Hanley told me something that always stuck in my mind: you should be open for the customers who are there, not the ones who are not. There are absolutely days that your biggest sale of the day comes at 10:05 AM or 7:55 PM, and you can’t be certain if that sale would still be there if your hours weren’t convenient for the customer.

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Comics Experience on Divisidero St.

So, yeah, I could reduce hours of operation, or I could cut staff overlap to be even tighter (though, it’s hard to see how the physical work of the store doesn’t start to slip some in that case), to work that much harder for the pay. I have that choice.  There’s not a lot of other places that expenses can be cut, though — we run extremely lean on inventory, and we’ve got robust mechanisms for getting rid of excess stock that work pretty well; and we always do as much cost-pruning as we can for ongoing expenses — just as a dumb example: we’ve used high efficiency light bulbs for years.  Hell, I have DSL in the store, rather than cable so that I can save the ~$60/month that entails. No, staffing the stores is, in fact, the single biggest expense each month, higher than rent and every utility and service combined.

And, while I would fire people if that’s what it absolutely positively took to keep the doors open, it is my fervent belief that bookstores that try to cheap their way out of cash-flow problems almost always enter the death-spiral at that point because customers can smell the stench of failure.

What I’d really much rather do, any day of the week, is grow the business enough to pay for this new mandate.

THE BEAT: People in the comments seem to think that owning a smallish comics shop, let alone two smallish comics shops, in the Bay Area with its insane cost of living rise in recent years is a doomed enterprise. How worried are you about the general prognosis for a small business in Google/Apple City, USA?


HIBBS: Don’t forget Twitter and Airbnb and Uber and Yelp too!  Plus, The City gives tech firms millions of dollars of tax breaks, and basically pays nothing but lip service to small businesses.

Look: the comic shop that sold (I’ve been told) the largest number of periodical comics in San Francisco, Jeffrey’s Toys on Market street, just a few blocks from all of those tech offices downtown, was just forced out by their landlord who demanded that their rent raised from eight thousand dollars a month to forty thousand! A five-fold increase!

Who on earth can pay forty grand a month each and every month for retail space? A super-high-end restaurant like a Gary Danko or something…. maybe? San Francisco is littered with empty retail store fronts right now because commercial rents have gone nuts, and everyone is trying to get their piece. Just this month two different businesses (Michael’s Pit Stop, a bodega and keymaker, and the KK Cafe, which was a great little cafe where this wonderful couple, Jack and Margret, also made their own peanut milk) within a block of us have been kicked out of their space due to unbearable rent increases.

It is something I worry about each and every day.  The main store has been month-to-month for twenty-one years now, my landlord has always refused my offers of a new lease, but they’ve also always been extremely generous about how they handle rent increases.  I might have had a crisis long before now except for that. But I could be kicked out at any time with essentially no warning, or have my rent tripled, or whatever, and there’s no recourse.

Look: when I opened in 1989, we had twenty-four comic stores in town, and now we are down to just eight. Two of which are mine. I don’t like that.

Hell, we are probably the only major United States city that doesn’t have a single national-chain bookstore because the economics of bookselling are really hard in a city this expensive.

More generally, though, I do think that the climate for small business in San Francisco, especially small business based around art or creativity, is rough and getting rougher.  I certainly expect that between rising rents and this new minimum wage mandate, business like mine which are currently profitable, but only by so much, are going to continue to be pressured over the next few years as the costs associated rise.  All we can do is try to plan ahead for the things we can know about, which is really why I am trying to do the Graphic Novel Club.

I really think there’s a value and a need in a curated graphic novel program, because I really and truly think that there are a lot of people who would adore the output of the market…. if only they were aware of all of the choices they have.  Comics rule pop culture, but there’s no one really saying “Here, civilian, here is a thing you should read each month”.

I have to think that almost everyone reading this could think of at least one friend or relative who might enjoy the program, and I super encourage folks to spread the word.

Are we “doomed” though?  Well, hell no — I could always go back to just having one store and firing most of the staff and running it myself five days a week again; and given that fallback, it’s difficult for me to see almost any outside force making the store close.  But, Heidi, that would be such a step backwards, and I’m trying with bold optimism, to move things forward.

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The interior of the Divisidero St. store

 

THE BEAT: Are there any other steps you are taking to deal with the rising cost of living in the Bay Area?


HIBBS: Well, all you can do is try to diversify your store and your customer base and try to appeal to as many people as broadly as possible to help spread the words that comics are awesome.  We’re now holding regular ladies nights to try to attract new women to the store (We had one on Ocean last night, and our next one on Divisadero is May 6th), and we’ve started a regular series of weekly videos for the new store to communicate their energy.  We want for the original store to do a slightly more cerebral video series at some point — but, whew, only so many hours in the day to shoot and edit such things.

We’re about to start experimenting with doing children’s weekend mornings, with drawing classes and such, too — but ideas are easy; it’s execution and manpower and pulling off community and events without spending too much to implement the ideas that is the trick.  Give me an infinite budget, and I bet I could do some amazing things — but the problem isthat budget (and the amount of hours available to DO promotion) and that it is always a limited thing that has to be worked in and around the normal day-to-day servicing of customers and keeping the store running, physically.

THE BEAT: As also mentioned in the comments, the theory behind the wage hike is a form of “trickle down” economics. Do you think it could eventually raise your customer base in some way?


HIBBS: Yeah, well, I have to say, living in a city where we’ve had raising minimum wage every year for the last eleven (well, wait, it didn’t raise in 2010, it looks like), I can not say that I can detect any kind of a correlation between a rising MW and rising revenue.  Now, whether that is a result of cost-of-living rising faster than wages, or a result of something particular and specific about the relationship that comics fans and their buying habits share, or whether it is something that I am doing right or wrong, or whether it just has to do with the fact that human beings are messy, illogical beings that operate differently than “well, that sounds like a reasonable theory” would otherwise suggest, I just can’t say. But I am just not seeing any correlation in my sales.

Let me say, kind of as forthrightly as I possibly can, I am not an economist. I don’t actually understand a lot of the theorycraft behind it (though I try), but I do have 26 years as a business owner in a “realpolitik” way of watching my individual micro-economy, and I really think that any kind of “trickle down” is pretty much hooey for a business like mine.  People, by and large, determine their budget for comics pretty independently of their specific income. I know plenty of plenty of people who are already spending above their means, and plenty who could pay five times more, but are super-picky, and every case study in-between.

Further, if I understand the various studies that I’ve read correctly, and I absolutely may not be, most studies are reporting on the macro, not the micro — they don’t give a shit about an individual person or entity as long as the overall picture shows a particular result.  That’s reasonable of course, but my major concern is for for my staff and my store. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that ledger. I don’t want to have to fire people, therefore making their new minimum wage zero dollars per hour!

If I understand the studies I’ve read, and, again, I really may not have understood them well at all, they generally show a “neutral” or “slightly improved” impact of small (25 to 50 cent per hour) MW changes. But within any survey there of course will be winners and losers from any kind of economic shift — it’s great that the economy as a whole is “neutral”, but that doesn’t help you if your own personal economy is “laid off” or “have to shut your business”.

Further, it is my understanding (again again again maybe totally wrong) that no credible economist can accurately predict what a raise in MW of this scale will do, because there’s absolutely no evidence since there’s never been a raise on this scale.  It is going up 43% over three years, by $3.95 — that is literally unprecedented.

What I think is going to happen is either that more workers will become MW workers, or will get closer to being MW workers, because I have a hard time seeing every San Francisco based business giving each and every employee a $3.95 raise over the next three years,  and / or common everyday transactions are going to have to go up as a result.  You’ll pay fifty cents more for your coffee and a buck more for your burrito, and you’ll wonder why you seem to have no more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

One of my main frustrations with the law is that it is so arbitrarily, geographically.  My minimum wage is going to be $15, but travel just a few minutes south to Daly City and it is only $11; even Marin to our north, which is historically filled with “rich people”, only maxes at $13.  Within an half-hour drive, it is only $9.

But the real disconnect, for me, is that what is a “living wage”, and just how much individuals should be able to participate in decisions about their own compensation, and what that entails.

hibbs_calloutI think it is important to understand that raw dollars-per-hour is not necessarily the only calculation that people make for employment — sometimes people are looking more for respect and agency, while other times people have income needs wholly outside the notion of having to support themselves or their families.

I have staff who live at home and are full-time students; I have staff who are fully supported by their significant other, and who work because they want to generate some pocket money while they work on their art careers. I have staff who purposefully quit better paying corporate jobs to work for me because they have more agency here. And I have staff (Pretty much each and every one of them, really!) who are awesome enough to probably make two or three or five times what I am paying them, but who would rather be here than the many other choices that they have.

Ultimately, I try to be about empowerment — one of my staff specifically told me during the job interview that her goal is to open her own comic book shop someday. Hell yeahs! I am so down with that notion — because certainly one of my proudest days ever was when Michael Drivas learned just enough from me to help him open Big Brain Comics in Minneapolis – but isn’t, I dunno, “learning at the feet of the master” (ew, bad metaphor!!!) worth some sort of credit against hourly wage? Man, I charge my consultancy clients $100/hour for what I say.  I mean, I clearly believe that I owe her for her time, duh, but shouldn’t we calculate “value” past only dollars-per-hour?

My bottom line is that I absolutely want to pay people every penny that they are worth, but the hard realities of profit-and-loss sometimes make that harder for others — whether that you’re in a high-expense city, or a low-expense town, I’ve met exceedingly few comic store owners that don’t struggle every day to take care of business.

The more important thing to me is how you deal with that struggle, and I’m trying to find a path that allows my staff to get paid more while making sure that I don’t contract the business so that five of them lose their jobs as a result.

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Hibbs in his native habitat (photo from the SF Chronicle by Lacy Atkins)

 

THE BEAT: Do you foresee the wage hike affecting other shops in the area?


HIBBS: So, my two physically closest competitors are “family operated”, and I don’t believe employ anyone who is getting paid any kind of “hourly wages”. Which is 100% fine, but that means they have a smaller “nut” than I do to breaking even. Three of the other four stores in town have at least one employee, and so will be impacted to at least that degree.  No one else in San Francisco, at least as far as I know, has six employees and the payroll that I face, but I do know at least one other store who has a plan to deal with their own shortfall that I assume they will be announcing soon.

Other geek-friendly shops in the area, book stores, game stores, to the extent that they have employees, will have to come up with extra funds to take care of those costs.

I don’t know exactly how clearly other stores are looking at their own liabilities.  Until I wrote Alan Beatts I hadn’t actually bothered to take out the pen and actually figure out what the bottom line impact was.  Then I crapped my pants when I realized the scope of it.

Thankfully necessity is the mother of invention, because I think I have solid, entrepreneurial plan.

THE BEAT: Finally, how is the book club doing so far? Any surprises or new wrinkles in the huge amount of time (two days) it’s been live?


HIBBS: We’re closing on 72 hours since I first put it live (but I don’t think anyone noticed for most of the first day) and we’re allllmost at the 25%-funded mark, which I think is an absolutely fantastic response, even though that still gives us miles yet to go.  I’m also strongly hoping that we can beat the goal by really large percentage so that all of my staff can get paid well above the $15 hour MW as they properly deserve.

My hope of your readership is, even if they don’t think this is for them, is that they’ll think of someone they know who it might be a good fit for, and they’ll make a point of turning their friends on to the idea — from my point of view right now where we’re at, a share is as good as a subscription.  We’re fully set up to handle nationwide subs, and the social media connections we have planned, as well as the streaming and recorded book club meetings will be, we hope, the icing on an already fantastic cake of content. If you know anyone who could use a sherpa to guide them through the mountains of comics being published today, I think the Graphic Novel Club is for them.

4 Comments on Interview: Retailer Brian HIbbs on the Minimum Wage and Surviving in San Francisco, last added: 4/10/2015
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11. WonderCon 15’: Toy Collecting for the Modern Age

Daniel Pickett and Scott Neitlich

Daniel Pickett and Scott Neitlich

By Nick Eskey

When toy collecting started to become popular, prices were relatively cheap. Now with increased gas prices, higher standards of living, rise of product control, and other associated costs, prices have been steadily on the rise.

As a whole, Americans purchase toys for a number of reasons: For their kids, for their collection, or for profit. If you fall in the collecting bracket, then you know how taxing of a hobby it can be.

Discussing the current environment for collectors at the “Toy Collecting for the Modern Age” panel were a number of people involved in the toy industry. Present at the panel were Daniel Pickett, of “Action Figure Insider”; Scott Neitlich, a “Toy Guru” and also of Action Figure Insider; Jason Lenz, of “Bif Bang Pow”; Jeff Trojan, of “Playmates Toys”; Jim Fletcher, DC Collectibles; Kevin Kiniry, DC Collectibles; and Justin Donaldson, writer for “Funny or Die” and “Keen and Peel.” David Vonner, who works in designing toys, could not make it due to traffic unfortunately.

The men first discussed how they became attracted to, and involved in the game industry. Scott shared that he always wanted to work with toys, but thought he’d have to first get involved with television and movies first before he could have that option. He “skipped a step” as he put it by getting hired by Mattel after applying for 4 years. Kevin Kiniry claims it was an early experience of his mother taking away all of his toys and donating them to teach him a lesson that convinced him to work with toys for a living.

After sharing about themselves, Scott spoke of the state of the toy industry. Toy collecting is getting bigger, especially because we are finding more ways to display our collections, as well as the internet helping to create more interest. With things like videoed “unboxings,” more people are become involved in the fandom.

But prices are getting tougher to swallow. Many factors these days are contributing to this, like dock strikes, labor prices in China, cost of oil, politics, and others.TCITMA

“These things are forcing [us] to make the toy smarter,” said Kevin. “How me make toys and the packaging mainly.”

Economically, many toy manufacturers are packaging toys in simpler boxes to keep costs low. Environmentally, this is also good, because it creates less waste.

These cost-cutting practices are especially good for smaller companies, as Jeff Trojan points out. “It’s a Big Fish versus Grass Roots. The big companies have more ability to absorb and to source cheaper labor. Small ones that haven’t made connections have to be really smart about their product.”

Scott Neitlich discussed that there are also the politics that go behind the toy veil. “Sometimes it’s an everyday struggle. The I.P. holder can decide to delay the product… Do you know how hard it is sometimes to get a toy to market?”

And though the toy might be out in stores, doesn’t mean it’s readily available. Resellers can be vicious in their hitting up stores, buying up as much product as possible, creating a scarcity for the consumer and collector alike. “This makes the price of the item even higher, sometimes making it near impossible financially to collect whole sets,” said Jason. “It’s not going to get any better unless both consumers and retailers works against their practices… [Even] in the digital age, toys are still going to be still going to be sought after… Toys are unique. They are physical. There’s no way you can touch a digital toy.”

“Book and DVD collections are disappearing because of digital,” said Kevin Kiniry. “And toy collections are getting bigger.”

So what are we to do about this ballooning toy situation? “We have to become smarter with what we buy,” said Scott Neitlich. “We’ll have to decide more selectively what we will collect.”

With toys becoming more geared towards adults as well as kids, creating a collectible toy market, they are being plagued with the same issues as any other commodity. But the excitement and joy a collection can bring definitely won’t sway fans away. If I’m to take one thing away from this panel, it’s that we all need to become responsible and smart in what we choose to buy.

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12. Dynamic Forces teams with EVINE to sell limited editions

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Home shopping for comics and related collectibles is coming back, as Dynamic Forces will be selling some of their limited edition merch on Evine. The first event is this Wednesday and will focus on Star Wars stuff.
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Dynamic Forces is proud to announce that EVINE Live (evine.com), the digital retailer and television network delivering entertainment shopping to millions of viewers, will feature a two-hour program focusing on Dynamic Forces’ exciting line of comic book collectibles, including some of the most beloved pop culture properties of today, such as Star Wars, Marvel Comics, DC Entertainment, IDW Publishing, and Dynamite Entertainment. The two-hour premiere event takes place on Wednesday, April 8th, at 1:00am EST (Tuesday, April 7th at 10:00pm PST).

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Dynamic Forces will offer a wide selection of products featuring autographed limited editions and – in some cases – hand-drawn sketches from the highest caliber of comic book creators. Signatures will represent some of the most important creators in comics, including Stan “The Man” Lee (the industry legend and co-creator of so many “marvelous” characters, such as Spider-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, and many more), Bob Kane (creator of Batman), Greg Land (Spider-Woman, Ultimate Fantastic Four), John Cassaday (Star Wars, Astonishing X-Men), Alex Ross (Kingdom Come, Project Superpowers), Jae Lee (Batman/Superman), Frank Thorne (Red Sonja), and many more. Dynamic Forces products range from all-time classics that celebrate milestone 75th and 100th anniversaries to the hottest launches of this very year.

Dynamic Forces will kick off their EVINE Live program with one of the most popular brands in existence, Star Wars. Coinciding with the building anticipation for upcoming films, Marvel Comics recently launched a brand-new Star Wars comic book series that sold over one million copies, resulting in five subsequent printings and renown as the #1 bestselling comic of 2014. Dynamic Forces is proud to offer numerous exclusive Star Wars products, including: a special Dynamic Forces exclusive variant signed by Greg Land; Star Wars #1 First Printings featuring signatures by interior artist and Eisner Award winner John Cassaday; Marvel “blank” cover editions that come with meticulously hand-drawn sketches of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Yoda; and many more collectibles from a galaxy far, far away.

The featured Star Wars line is not alone in having original, hand-drawn artwork, as Dynamic Forces will showcase several other one-of-a-kind collectibles hand-illustrated by comic creators, including: “blank” DC Batman covers and Marvel Wolverine covers with sketches by Jae Lee; The Flash “blank” editions with sketches by Ken Haeser; original comic book storyboards illustrated by Tom Raney and Scott Hanna; and Shadow #1 (celebrating the 75th anniversary since the classic character’s first comic strip appearance) featuring remark artwork by Jae Lee and Alex Ross.
 
Autographed merchandise will offered in abundance throughout the EVINE Live premiere, including: limited edition Batman lithographs (rare signatures and rarer Printers Proof Editions) featuring the signature of Batman creator Bob Kane himself; an oversized Red Sonja Art Edition Hardcover featuring Frank Thorne and Roy Thomas; the retro-chic Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #1 signed by Alex Ross; and a handful of Marquee Autographed Limited Edition comics of fan-favorite Marvel titles signed by Stan “The Man” Lee.

Additional offerings during the night’s program include: special Dynamic Forces exclusive variants of the red-hot My Little Pony and Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet; Dynamic Forces Premium Signed and Sketch Card packages; historic 100th Anniversary King Features comics; the recent Marvel sensation Spider-Gwenincluding a Dynamic Forces Limited Edition Cover; Midtown Comics Limited Editions and much more.
 
The upcoming special marks the first time that Dynamic Forces has partnered with EVINE Live to provide rare and coveted comic book items to the network’s 88 million US homes. Dynamic Forces has over twenty years of experience in selling comic book-related merchandise on television, and their inclusion on EVINE Live will debut that type of product to the television station’s vast audience.

Nick Barrucci, CEO of Dynamic Forces, says, “We’re very fortunate here at DF. We work with publishers and creators to present limited edition collectibles and autographs from many great creators on a variety of comics and merchandise on a regular basis. The comic industry is currently ruling TV and the box office, but not enough consumers outside of the comics market know about the comics themselves. EVINE Live is making it easy for their incredible audience to become more aware of our industry, and existing fans to acquire marquee collectibles with special pricing and their interest free payment method, Value-Pay®. The opportunity to present on EVINE Live allows us to bring comics to the EVINE family, create more awareness, and grow the comics industry. Comic books are cooler than ever before, impacting modern pop culture everyday, and Dynamic Forces is now making it easier than ever for EVINE Live customers to take part in the phenomenon with hot new titles and iconic characters the world over.”

Viewers are invited to tune in to EVINE Live via cable and satellite, mobile apps, and live streaming online at evine.com. EVINE Live airs on DIRECTV channels 73 and 316, DISH Network channels 134 and 228 and the nation’s top cable providers. Find EVINE Live in your area: http://bit.ly/1CNa450. For more information on EVINE Live, visit http://www.evine.com.

1 Comments on Dynamic Forces teams with EVINE to sell limited editions, last added: 4/6/2015
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13. Minimum wage hike threatens SF’s Comix Experience

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Well, here is a shoe that no one wanted to hear drop, but it can’t be termed unexpected. San Francisco will raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next three years, and this threatens a lot of businesses, like bookstores, that have very small margins. The science fiction bookstore Borderlands planned to close, but a sponsorship program has kept it going, but as soon as the law was announced, people speculated on how it would affect local comics shops.

And now, sadly, Comix Experience, the legendary comics store which just celebrated its 26th anniversary, also faces a huge budget shortfall. Owner Brian Hibbs explains that the wage rise will lead to $80,000 in added expenses for the store annually, and it will be impossible to raise profits organically since they can’t just raise prices on books.

However, there is a similar idea to the sponsorship model on deck for Comix Experience, and it’s called:

Comix Experience’s Curated Graphic Novel of the Month Club

Beginning in July 2015, every month the staff and I will use our passion and experience to choose the single best brand new graphic novel to give you. This book will always be either a stand-alone experience, or the first volume of a new series. As a member of the club, you’ll also be entitled to unique benefits that won’t be offered to anyone else:
• A curated selection of the best new graphic novel each month
• An invitation to a monthly live book club meeting and social event to discuss that book. We will record and stream the in-store meeting so club members all over the world can also participate.
• We will regularly have the writers and artists of each of our picks participate in our monthly club meetings, (e.g. in person, speaking and doing a live event, or a video chat to answer questions).
• For select in-person appearances at the store, you’ll receive an exclusive club-only invitation to attend a private after-hours event with the guest.
• We will create a social media group for members to discuss the book internationally
• Finally, we will provide you with nice swag (like posters or bookmarks) for the selected book wherever possible





A one year subscription with in store pick-up is $240 a year, $25 a month. You can also subscribe via the mail for an extra $6 a month for shipping and handling.

The store will need 334 yearly memberships to meet the added costs. Will this idea fly? Book clubs can be a lot of fun, more great books than ever are coming out, and the extras sound cool. So our rating is: good deal!

Comix Experience is a local legend and a pioneering comics shop and losing it would be a huge blow. Hibbs invites discussion and input on the plan. What do you all think?

CORRECTION: I had originally misstated the time frame of the minimum wage hike. It takes place over three years not immediately.

15 Comments on Minimum wage hike threatens SF’s Comix Experience, last added: 4/7/2015
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14. Collect Them All! You Won’t Believe How Many Variant Comics Ship in April 2015

Every month, Diamond Comics Distributors publishes Diamond Previews.  While most readers and consumers read the big catalog, or go online, retailers have their own special website and order form for ordering all the wonderful items you might want to buy.   Over 80 pages long, it lists everything featured in the 500+ pages of Previews!

What it also showcases, in the front of the Order Form, are all of the retailer incentives and variants offered by various comics publishers.  Since collectors are intrigued by these manufactured rarities, and since they influence the monthly sales charts, we thought our readers would be interested.  

The following is reproduced from the Diamond Previews, February 2015 Retailer Order Form, for items shipping in April.

It contains listing of variants, as well as other special offers such as returnability and discounts.  Not all covers have been publicized, making it a bit difficult for retailers and consumers to figure out what to chase.  I have reproduced some of the more interesting covers below, and highlighted a few artists (Dave McKean!  Gold Key!) people might be curious about.   Previews does offer a page listing current variants and reprints, with links to the single issue pages.  Not all pages have covers yet.   Yes…orders were due at the end of February, so retailers might not know what the variants look like until they open the box.  Strange way to do business…


DARK HORSE

FEB150008 REBELS #1
Order 25 or more copies to receive an additional 15% discount.

FEB150014 THE ORDER OF THE FORGE #1
Order 15 or more copies to receive an additional 15% discount.

FEB150019 PASTAWAYS #2
Initial orders for Pastaways #2 that match or exceed 100% of initial orders for Pastaways #1 [JAN150085] will receive an additional 10% discount.

FEB150020 EI8HT #3
Initial orders for Ei8ht #3 that match or exceed 100% of initial orders for Ei8ht #2 [JAN150126] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB150021 NEVERBOY #2
Initial orders Neverboy #2 matching or exceeding 100% initial orders for Neverboy #1 [JAN150114] will receive an additional 10% discount.

FEB150025 SHAPER #2
Initial orders Shaper #2 matching or exceeding 100% initial orders for Shaper #1 [JAN150116] will receive an additional 10% discount.

FEB150071 FRANKENSTEIN UNDERGROUND #2
Initial orders for Frankenstein Underground #2 that match or exceed 100% of initial orders for Frankenstein Underground #1 [JAN150084] will receive an additional 10% discount.

FEB150105 THE WITCHER: FOX CHILDREN #1AvP francavilla
Order 15 or more copies to receive an additional 15% discount.

FEB150054 ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #13 NORTON & ENGLERT VAR CVR $3.50 4/1/2015

FEB150017 ARCHIE VS PREDATOR #1 30 COPY FRANCAVILLA VAR PI 4/15/2015
For every 30 copies Archie Vs Predator #1 purchased [both covers combined], retailer will receive 1 Francesco Francovilla variant cover free.
FEB150016 ARCHIE VS PREDATOR #1 POWELL VAR CVR $3.99 4/15/2015

FEB150056 BTVS SEASON 10 #14 ISAACS VAR $3.50 4/22/2015

DC Comics

FEB150237 BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT #2 VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Jae Lee
FEB150239 BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT #3 VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Paolo Riveria


CONVERGENCE #1 • FEB150137Convergence 1 variant cover by Brian Bolland

Retailers whose combined FOC orders of the Standard Edition, Tony S. Daniel, and Blank variant editions meet or exceed 100% of their FOC orders for Batman #31 (MAR140212) will receive 100% returnability at a later date and an extra 10% discount.

FEB150141 CONVERGENCE #1 (OF 8) BATMAN SKETCH VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
For every 100 combined copies of the Standard Edition, Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition, and Blank Variant edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Sketch Edition featuring Batman by Greg Capullo
FEB150139 CONVERGENCE #1 (OF 8) BLANK VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
This title is available as a Blank Variant Edition with no minimum order needed to purchase
FEB150140 CONVERGENCE #1 (OF 8) BOLLAND VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
For every 25 combined copies of the Standard Edition, Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition, and Blank Variant edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Brian BollandBat-SPOOON!
FEB150138 CONVERGENCE #1 (OF 8) TONY S DANIEL VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
This title is also available as a Variant Edition by Tony S. Daniel with no minimum purchase required






CONVERGENCE #2 • FEB150142

Retailers whose combined FOC orders of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel variant editions meet or exceed 100% of their FOC orders for Batman #31 (MAR140212) will receive 100% returnability at a later date and an extra 10% discount.

FEB150144 CONVERGENCE #2 (OF 8) JAE LEE VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
For every 25 combined copies of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Jae Lee
FEB150143 CONVERGENCE #2 (OF 8) TONY S DANIEL VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
This title is also available as a Variant Edition by Tony S. Daniel with no minimum purchase required
Convergence WWFEB150145 CONVERGENCE #2 (OF 8) WONDER WOMAN SKETCH VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
For every 100 combined copies of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Sketch Edition featuring Wonder Woman by David Finch




CONVERGENCE #3 • FEB150146

[Why might you want that McKean cover?  Here’s the blurb from DC Comics:

“Death comes calling as an injured Telos takes out his rage on the people of Kandor, while the Earth-2 team endures another brutal casualty. And major plans are set in motion as Green Lantern and the others follow Deimos into the lost city of Skartaris to find Rip Hunter and the missing Time Masters, who could be their only hope of escape from this apocalypse for Infinite Earths!”]

Retailers whose combined FOC orders of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel variant editions meet or exceed 100% of their FOC orders for Batman #31 (MAR140212) will receive 100% returnability at a later date and an extra 10% discount.

FEB150149 CONVERGENCE #3 (OF 8) AQUAMAN SKETCH VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
For every 100 combined copies of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Sketch Edition featuring Aquaman by Jim Lee
FEB150148 CONVERGENCE #3 (OF 8) MCKEAN VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
For every 25 combined copies of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Dave McKean
FEB150147 CONVERGENCE #3 (OF 8) TONY S DANIEL VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
This title is also available as a Variant Edition by Tony S. Daniel with no minimum purchase required




CONVERGENCE #4 • FEB150150

Retailers whose combined FOC orders of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel variant editions meet or exceed 100% of their FOC orders for Batman #31 (MAR140212) will receive 100% returnability at a later date and an extra 10% discount.

FEB150153 CONVERGENCE #4 (OF 8) GREEN LANTERN SKETCH VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
For every 100 combined copies of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Sketch Edition featuring Green Lantern by Jim Lee
FEB150152 CONVERGENCE #4 (OF 8) MANAPUL VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
For every 25 combined copies of the Standard Edition and Tony S. Daniel Variant Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Fancis Manapul
FEB150151 CONVERGENCE #4 (OF 8) TONY S DANIEL VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
This title is also available as a Variant Edition by Tony S. Daniel with no minimum purchase required




CONVERGENCE MINI SERIES

Each #1 issue of the 2-issue Convergence miniseries is available as a Variant Edition with a cover designed by Chip Kiddwith no minimum purchase required to order. If your combined FOC orders of the standard edition cover and the Chip Kidd Variant meet or exceed 100% of your FOC orders for Superman #34 JUN140198 you will receive an extra 10% discount. Each Convergence miniseries issue will qualify on its own.

FEB150215 CONVERGENCE ACTION COMICS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150195 CONVERGENCE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150175 CONVERGENCE AQUAMAN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150155 CONVERGENCE ATOM #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150157 CONVERGENCE BATGIRL #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150159 CONVERGENCE BATMAN & ROBIN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150197 CONVERGENCE BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150177 CONVERGENCE BATMAN SHADOW OF THE BAT #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150217 CONVERGENCE BLUE BEETLE #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150219 CONVERGENCE BOOSTER GOLD #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150179 CONVERGENCE CATWOMAN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150221 CONVERGENCE CRIME SYNDICATE #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150223 CONVERGENCE DETECTIVE COMICS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150199 CONVERGENCE FLASH #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150181 CONVERGENCE GREEN ARROW #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150201 CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150183 CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN PARALLAX #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150161 CONVERGENCE HARLEY QUINN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150203 CONVERGENCE HAWKMAN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150225 CONVERGENCE INFINITY INC #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150163 CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150205 CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150185 CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE INTL #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150227 CONVERGENCE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150207 CONVERGENCE NEW TEEN TITANS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150165 CONVERGENCE NIGHTWING ORACLE #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150229 CONVERGENCE PLASTIC MANDOM FIGHTERS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150167 CONVERGENCE QUESTION #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
convergence kidd shazamFEB150231 CONVERGENCE SHAZAM #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
FEB150169 CONVERGENCE SPEED FORCE #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150187 CONVERGENCE SUICIDE SQUAD #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150189 CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150209 CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY & THE LEGION #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150191 CONVERGENCE SUPERGIRL MATRIX #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150171 CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150193 CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN MAN OF STEEL #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/15/2015
FEB150211 CONVERGENCE SWAMP THING #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150173 CONVERGENCE TITANS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/8/2015
FEB150213 CONVERGENCE WONDER WOMAN #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/22/2015
FEB150233 CONVERGENCE WORLDS FINEST COMICS #1 CHIP KIDD VAR ED PI 4/29/2015






































FEB150235 WONDER WOMAN 77 SPECIAL #1 VAR ED PI 4/29/2015
For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition ordered retailers may order 1 Variant Edition by Phil Jimenez

IDW PUBLISHING

[Interesting…if stores do not drop their order quantities from the previous issue, the issue is fully returnable.  Not a bad way to keep up supply, and avoid possible reprints.]

FEB150309-0310 UNCLE SCROOGE #1
Order 25 or more copies [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150325-0326 EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #7
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Edward Scissorhands #6 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150329-0330 JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #2
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Jem & the Holograms #1 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150339-0340 SKYLANDERS #8: RETURN OF THE DRAGON KING
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Skylanders #7 [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150345-0346 EMPIRE: UPRISING #1
Order 10 copies or more [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150350-0351 ORPHAN BLACK #3
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Orphan Black #2 [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150353-0354 THE FLY: OUTBREAK #2
Match your order to a minimum of your order for The Fly: Outbreak #1 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150365-0366 MILLENNIUM #4
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Millennium #3 [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150369-0370 STAR TREK/PLANET OF THE APES #5
Match your order to a minimum order for Star Trek/Planet of the Apes #4 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150372 MIAMI VICE: REMIX #2
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Miami Vice: Remix #1 [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150373-0374 JOE FRANKENSTEIN #3
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Joe Frankenstein #2 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150375-0376 G.I. JOE #8
Match your order to a minimum of your order for G.I. Joe #7 [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150377-0378 G.I. JOE: SNAKE EYES, AGENT OF COBRA #4

Match your order to a minimum of your order for G.I. Joe Snake Eyes Agent of Cobra #3 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150407-0408 TMNT: MUTANIMALS #3
Match your order to a minimum order of your order for TMNT: Mutanimals #2 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150419-0420 RAGNAROK #5
Match you order to a minimum order for Ragnarok #4 [regular & subscription covers combined] and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150421-0422 THE OCTOBER FACTION #6
Match your order to a minimum of your order for October Faction #5 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150425-0426 D4VE #3
Match your order to a minimum of your order for D4VE #2 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150427-0428 ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS #4
Match your order to a minimum of your order for Zombie vs Robots #3 and this book is fully returnable.

FEB150336 ANGRY BIRDS #10 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150426 D4VE #3 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB150451 DRONES #1 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB150326 EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #7 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150346 EMPIRE UPRISING #1 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB150354 FLY OUTBREAK #2 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150328 GALAXY QUEST JOURNEY CONTINUES #4 (OF 4) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015





FEB150357 GARBAGE PAIL KIDS FABLES FANTASY & FARTS (ONE SHOT) 10 COPY PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & deluxe edition combined], receive one free classic GPK Sy Clops variant cover.

FEB150356 GARBAGE PAIL KIDS FABLES FANTASY & FARTS (ONE SHOT) DLX ED $4.99 4/22/2015
FEB150376 GI JOE (2014) #8 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB150381 GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #213 10 COPY PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined] receive one free Larry Hama sketch variant cover.

FEB150380 GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #213 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150378 GI JOE SNAKE EYES AGENT OF COBRA #4 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150434 GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #23 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150349 INFINITE LOOP #1 (OF 6) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150331 JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #2 5 CVR MISFITS HOLOGRAPH FOIL BOX SET $24.99 4/22/2015
FEB158135 JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #2 PLUGGED IN ED $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150330 JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #2 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150374 JOE FRANKENSTEIN #3 (OF 4) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB150430 JUDGE DREDD #29 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150432 JUDGE DREDD CLASSICS DARK JUDGES #4 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB150333 LITTLEST PET SHOP SPRING CLEANING (ONE SHOT) SUBSCRIPTION VA $7.99 4/22/2015
FEB150424 MAXX MAXXIMIZED #18 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150366 MILLENNIUM #4 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015











MLPFIM variantFEB150315 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #1 25 COPY PI 4/1/2015
For every 25 copies each of My Little Pony: Fiendship is Magic #1-5 listed in this catalog ordered [regular & subscription covers combined], receive one free MLP: Friendship is Magic #1 Sara Richard Twilight Sparkle variant cover.
[“Fiendship” is a weekly miniseries featuring villains.  The Richard covers are AMAZING.]

FEB158080 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #1 FAN EXPO EXC VAR $2.00 4/1/2015
FEB150314 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #1 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB150316 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #1-5 COMP 5 CVR BOX SET $19.99 4/29/2015
FEB150318 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #2 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB150320 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #3 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150322 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #4 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150324 MY LITTLE PONY FIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #5 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/29/2015





FEB150422 OCTOBER FACTION #6 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015

FEB150352 ORPHAN BLACK #3 10 COPY PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined], receive one free Phil Jimenez variant cover.
FEB150351 ORPHAN BLACK #3 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB150454 POPEYE CLASSICS ONGOING #33 10 COPY PI 4/1/2015Popeye33
For every 10 copies ordered, receive one free Nate Bear variant cover.

FEB150344 POWERPUFF GIRLS SUPER SMASH-UP #4 (OF 6) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB150420 RAGNAROK #5 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150342 SAMURAI JACK #19 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150340 SKYLANDERS #8 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150368 STAR TREK ONGOING #44 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015



FEB150371 STAR TREK PLANET OF THE APES #5 (OF 5) 10 COPY PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined], receive one free Gold Key-style photo variant cover.

FEB150370 STAR TREK PLANET OF THE APES #5 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015

FEB150408 TMNT MUTANIMALS #3 (OF 4) SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150410 TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #22 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150406 TMNT ONGOING #45 10 COPY PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, receive one free Zach Howard variant cover.


FEB150397 TRANSFORMERS #40 10 COPY PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined] receive one free Hasbro Combiner Wars poster variant cover.

FEB150396 TRANSFORMERS #40 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015

FEB150394 TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #40 10 COPY PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined] receive one free Brendan Cahill variant cover.

FEB150393 TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #40 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/29/2015

FEB150391 TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE #8 10 COPY PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined] receive one free Artyom Trakhanov variant cover.

FEB150390 TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE #8 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB150400 TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE COMBINER WARS #2 10 COPY PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined] receive one free Hasbro Combiner Wars poster variant cover.

FEB150399 TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE COMBINER WARS #2 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB150311 UNCLE SCROOGE #1 25 COPY PI 4/22/2015

For every 25 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined], receive one free Andrew Pepoy Disney Legacy Adventureland variant cover.

[There’s also a blank sketch cover.  When BOOM! had the license, they frequently offered two or three different covers, shipped equally.]

FEB150312 UNCLE SCROOGE #1 BLANK SKETCH VAR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150310 UNCLE SCROOGE #1 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB150360 X-FILES SEASON 10 #23 10 COPY PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [regular & subscription covers combined], receive one free Matthew Dow Smith variant cover.

FEB150359 X-FILES SEASON 10 #23 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB150428 ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS #4 SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015

IMAGE COMICS

FEB150472-0475 JUPITER’S CIRCLE #1 (MR)
Retailers whose orders of Jupiter’s Circle #1 [all covers] match or exceed 100% of their orders for Jupiter’s Legacy #5 [all covers] will receive 10% off their order of this title.

FEB150477 SAVIOR #1
Retailers whose orders of Savior #1 match or exceed 100% of their orders for Spawn #250 [covers A-F] will receive 10% off their order of this title.

FEB150480 KAPTARA #1
Retailers whose orders of Kaptara #1 match or exceed 100% of their orders for Sex Criminals #1 will receive 10% off their order of this title.

FEB150483 NO MERCY #1
Retailers whose orders of No Mercy #1 match or exceed 100% of their orders for The Wicked + The Divine #6 will receive 10% off their order for this item.

FEB150484 PISCES #1 (MR)
Retailers whose orders of Pisces #1 match or exceed 100% of their orders for Starlight #1 will receive 10% off of their order for this item.

FEB150487 RUNLOVEKILL #1 (MR)
Retailers whose orders for Runlovekill #1 match or exceed 100% of their orders for Black Science #7 will receive 10% off their order for this item.

FEB150498 LEGACY OF LUTHER STRODE #1 (MR)
Retailers whose orders of Legacy of Luther Strode #1 match or exceed 130% of their orders for Legend of Luther Strode #1 will receive 10% off their order for this item.

FEB150509 BIRTHRIGHT #6
Retailers whose orders of Birthright #6 match or exceed 100% of their orders for Birthright #1 will receive 10% off of their order for this title.

FEB150510-0511 DEADLY CLASS #12 (MR)
Retailers whose orders of Deadly Class #12 [all covers] match or exceed 100% of their orders for Deadly Class #3 will receive 10% off of their order for this title.

FEB150513-0515 NAILBITER #11 (MR)
Retailers whose orders of Nailbiter #11 [all covers] match or exceed 100% of their order for Nailbiter #7 will receive 10% off of their order for this title.

FEB150592 BIG MAN PLANS #2 (OF 4) 30 COPY JOHNSON (MR) PI 4/8/2015
For every 30 copies ordered, retailers my order 1 Dave Johnson variant cover.

FEB150591 BIG MAN PLANS #2 (OF 4) CVR B JOHNSON (MR) $3.50 4/8/2015
FEB158100 CHRONONAUTS #2 (OF 4) CVR B – TBD (MR) $3.50 4/15/2015
FEB150511 DEADLY CLASS #12 CVR B OPENA (MR) $3.50 4/22/2015
FEB150610 GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #7 CVR B CONLEY (MR) $3.50 4/1/2015
FEB150612 INTERSECT #6 CVR B ZDARSKY (MR) $3.50 4/22/2015
FEB150495 IXTH GENERATION HIDDEN FILES #1 CVR B SEJIC $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB150473 JUPITERS CIRCLE #1 CVR B QUITELY (MR) $3.50 4/8/2015
FEB150474 JUPITERS CIRCLE #1 CVR C SIENKIEWICZ (MR) $3.50 4/8/2015
FEB150475 JUPITERS CIRCLE #1 CVR D PARLOV (MR) $3.50 4/8/2015
FEB150618 MICE TEMPLAR V NIGHTS END #2 (OF 5) CVR B SANTOS & $5.99 4/29/2015
FEB150514 NAILBITER #11 CVR B NGUYEN (MR) $2.99 4/1/2015
FEB150515 NAILBITER #11 CVR C ROSSMO (MR) $2.99 4/1/2015
FEB150621 ODDLY NORMAL #6 CVR B RICHARD $2.99 4/15/2015
FEB150624 POSTAL #3 CVR B GOODHART $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150489 TITHE #1 CVR B EKEDAL $3.99 4/15/2015













FEB150490 TITHE #1 CVR C EKEDAL 5 COPY PI 4/15/2015
For every 5 copies ordered [all covers], retailers have the option to purchase one limited variant Rahsan Ekedal cover.

FEB150491 TITHE #1 CVR D HAWKINS SGN 10 COPY PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [all covers], retailers will receive one free limited Ekedal variant C signed by writer Matt Hawkins.

FEB150647 WAYWARD #7 CVR B NANAHARA (MR) $3.50 4/29/2015

MARVEL COMICS

[WTD = What The Duck, WOM = Women of Marvel]

[HEY!  Marvel!  You might sell more variants if you list the artists!  Especially those working for the “Distinguished Competition”, like Amanda Conner and Sergio Aragones!  Hmm… I suspect that many of these were TBD originally.  Which, of course, doesn’t help the retailers, or the fans.  Seriously… you know you’re doing a Howard the Duck month, you should have them in the can before stuff goes to press at Diamond.  And Women of Marvel?  Even more so.  Those can be inventory covers.]

FEB150811 ALL NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #6 AVENGERS VAR PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150812 ALL NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #6 WTD VAR PI 4/22/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for All New Captain America #3 (NOV140784) with orders for All New Captain America #6 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150792 ALL NEW HAWKEYE #2 FRANCAVILLA WTD VAR PI 4/8/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Hawkeye Vs Deadpool #2 (SEP140861) with orders for All New Hawkeye #2 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150791 ALL NEW HAWKEYE #2 WADA VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150822 ALL NEW X-MEN #41 WTD VAR PI 5/6/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for All New X-Men #35 (SEP140901) with orders for All New X-Men #41 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150722 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17 AVENGERS VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150723 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17 FORBES WTD VAR PI 4/1/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Amazing Spider-Man #13 (NOV140764) with orders for Amazing Spider-Man #17 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150725 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17.1 DELLOTTO VAR PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150807 ANT-MAN #4 WTD VAR PI 4/8/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Ant- Man #2 (DEC140879) with orders for Ant-Man #4 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150708 AVENGERS #44 AU MOVIE CONNECTING A VAR TRO PI 4/29/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150707 AVENGERS #44 CHEUNG END OF AN ERA VAR TRO PI 4/29/2015
FEB150706 AVENGERS #44 HARRIS VAR TRO PI 4/29/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150698 AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 AGE OF ULTRON MOVIE CONNECTING B VAR
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

UltronForeverScarletFEB150699 AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 AGE OF ULTRON MOVIE CONNECTING C VAR
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150701 AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 AVENGERS VAR

You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150772 BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD #2 (OF 5) CROSBY CONNECTING B $3.99 4/15/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 10 regular you purchase.

FEB150737 CAPTAIN MARVEL #14 SORRENTINO COSMICALLY ENHANCED VAR BV PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150735 CYCLOPS #12 SORRENTINO COSMICALLY ENHANCED VAR BV PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150781 DAREDEVIL #15 SAUVAGE WTD VAR PI 4/29/2015
FEB150781 DAREDEVIL #15 SAUVAGE WTD VAR PI 4/29/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Daredevil #12 (NOV140805) with orders for Daredevil #15, and this variant is order all you want.

FEB150683 DARTH VADER #4 LARROCA VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150833 DEADPOOL #45 (250TH ISSUE) AVENGERS VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150834 DEADPOOL #45 (250TH ISSUE) GREEN WTD VAR PI 4/8/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Deadpool #40 (NOV140852) with orders for Deadpool #45 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150832 DEADPOOL #45 (250TH ISSUE) MOORE DEATH OF DEADPOOL VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 100 regular you purchase.

FEB150831 DEADPOOL #45 (250TH ISSUE) RUN JEWELS YOUNG VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 50 regular you purchase.

FEB150799 FANTASTIC FOUR #645 AVENGERS VAR PI 4/29/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150797 FANTASTIC FOUR #645 GOLDEN CONNECTING VAR PI 4/29/2015
FEB150798 FANTASTIC FOUR #645 KOMARCK CHARACTER VAR PI 4/29/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150778 GEORGE ROMEROS EMPIRE OF DEAD ACT THREE #1 (OF 5) NOTO VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150747 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #26 AVENGERS VAR PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150748 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #26 WTD VAR PI 4/22/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Guardians of the Galaxy #22 (OCT140856) with orders for Guardians of the Galaxy #26 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150742 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY AND X-MEN: BLACK VORTEX OMEGA #1 COSMICALLY VAR
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150743 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY AND X-MEN: BLACK VORTEX OMEGA #1 CONNECTING B VAR
Exceed 100% of orders for Guardians of the Galaxy #19 (JUL140641) with orders for Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: Black Vortex Omega #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150776 HOWARD THE DUCK #2 JEWELS VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 50 regular you purchase.

FEB150774 HOWARD THE DUCK #2 SAMNEE VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150775 HOWARD THE DUCK #2 VOTE HOWARD VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150794 HULK #14 WTD ALBUQUERQUE VAR PI 4/8/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Hulk #9 (OCT140865) with orders for Hulk #14 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150672 INHUMAN #14 WTD VAR PI 4/29/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Inhuman #10 (OCT140804) with orders for Inhuman #14 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150678 KANAN LAST PADAWAN #1 BLANK VAR PI 4/1/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Princess Leia #1 (JAN150727) with orders for Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150679 KANAN LAST PADAWAN #1 PLUNKETT VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150677 KANAN LAST PADAWAN #1 REBELS TELEVISION SHOW VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150676 KANAN LAST PADAWAN #1 YOUNG VAR PI 4/1/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Princess Leia #1 (JAN150727) with orders for Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150739 LEGENDARY STAR LORD #11 COSMICALLY ENHANCED VAR BV PI 4/15/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150740 LEGENDARY STAR LORD #11 STOKOE WTD VAR BV PI 4/15/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Legendary Star Lord #8 (NOV140800) with orders for Legendary Star Lord #11 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150690 MAX RIDE FIRST FLIGHT #1 (OF 5) NGUYEN VAR PI 4/8/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150759 MS MARVEL #14 FRISON WTD VAR PI 4/15/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Ms Marvel #10 (SEP140883) with orders for Ms Marvel #14 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150712 NEW AVENGERS #33 AU MOVIE CONNECTING D VAR TRO PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150711 NEW AVENGERS #33 CHEUNG END OF AN ERA VAR TRO $4.99 4/22/2015
You may order all you want of this variant.

FEB150710 NEW AVENGERS #33 HARRIS VAR TRO PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150703 NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 AGE OF ULTRON MOVIE CONNECTING E VAR

You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150704 NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 AGE OF ULTRON MOVIE CONNECTING F VAR
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150839 POWERS #5 MACK VAR (MR)
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150840 POWERS #5 PHOTO VAR (MR)
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150681 PRINCESS LEIA #3 (OF 5) VAR PI 4/29/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150745 ROCKET RACCOON #10 GUILLORY WTD VAR PI 4/1/2015RR10 WTD var
Exceed 100% of orders for Rocket Raccoon #6 (OCT140858) with orders for Rocket Raccoon #10 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150660 SECRET WARS #1 INVITATIONAL POSTCARDS
Please see future Marvel Mailers and Diamond Dailies for this May shipping book and related party.

FEB150661 SECRET WARS #1 YOUNG LITHOS
Please see future Marvel Mailers and Diamond Dailies for this May shipping book and related party.

FEB150662 SECRET WARS #1 PROMO ITEM
Please see future Marvel Mailers and Diamond Dailies for this May shipping book and related party.

FEB150653 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) BIANCHI CONNECTING VAR PI 5/6/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 20 regular you purchase.

FEB150658 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) BLANK VAR PI 5/6/2015
Exceed 150% of orders for Thor #1 (AUG140777) with orders for Secret Wars #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150651 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) CHEUNG VAR PI 5/6/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 100 regular you purchase.

HEY!  I bought one of these back in the 80s!  No, really!

HEY! I bought one of these back in the 80s! No, really!MSHSW black SM

FEB150654 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) CHRISTOPHER ACTION FIGURE VAR PI 5/6/2015
Exceed 150% of orders for Thor #1 (AUG140777) with orders for Secret Wars #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150655 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) CONNER WOM VAR PI 5/6/2015
Exceed 150% of orders for Thor #1 (AUG140777) with orders for Secret Wars #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150652 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) GUICE CLASSIC VAR PI 5/6/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150656 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) RIBIC PROMO VAR PI 5/6/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150657 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) YOUNG VAR PI 5/6/2015
Exceed 150% of orders for Thor #1 (AUG140777) with orders for Secret Wars #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150663 SECRET WARS #1 (OF 8) ZDARSKY PARTY VAR PI 5/6/2015
Exceed 150% of orders for Thor #1 (AUG140777) with orders for Secret Wars #1 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant. Must opt in to party.

FEB150789 SHIELD #5 WTD VAR PI 4/29/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Shield #2 (NOV140759) with orders for Shield #5 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150788 SHIELD #5 YU AVENGERS VAR PI 4/29/2015aragones WTD
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150729 SILK #3 ANKA VAR PI 4/29/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150728 SILK #3 PITARRA WTD VAR PI 4/29/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Spider- Woman #3 (NOV140770) with orders for Silk #3 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150732 SPIDER-GWEN #3 ARAGONES WTD VAR PI 4/1/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (JUL140616) with orders for Spider-Gwen #3 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150733 SPIDER-GWEN #3 PUTRI VAR PI 4/1/2015spidergwen3
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150685 STAR WARS #4 CASSADAY SKETCH VAR PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 100 regular you purchase.

FEB150686 STAR WARS #4 VAR PI 4/22/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150801 SUPERIOR IRON MAN #7 SHANNON WTD VAR PI 4/15/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Superior Iron Man #3 (OCT140807) with orders for Superior Iron Man #7 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150785 THOR #7 AVENGERS VAR PI 4/15/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150786 THOR #7 BROWNE WTD VAR PI 4/15/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Thor #4 (NOV140781) with orders for Thor #7 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150714 UNCANNY AVENGERS #4 AVENGERS VAR

You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150715 UNCANNY AVENGERS #4 WTD VAR

Exceed 100% of orders for Uncanny Avengers #1 (NOV140703) with orders for Uncanny Avengers #4 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

FEB150665 UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 BIANCHI VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 50 regular you purchase.

FEB150666 UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 CHEUNG CONNECTING VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 25 regular you purchase.

FEB150668 UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 INHUMAN 50TH ANNIVERSARY VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 50 regular you purchase.

FEB150667 UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 OUM VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 100 regular you purchase.

FEB150669 UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 PERKINS AVENGERS VAR PI 4/1/2015
You may order 1 variant for every 15 regular you purchase.

FEB150670 UNCANNY INHUMANS #0 WARD WTD VAR PI 4/1/2015
Exceed 100% of orders for Inhuman #10 (OCT140804) with orders for Uncanny Inhumans #0 regular cover, and you may order all you wish of this variant.

ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

FEB150884 HERO CATS #5 WILLIAMS VAR $4.99 4/8/2015
FEB150889 STRAY #4 LOPEZ VAR $4.99 4/15/2015
FEB150891 VAMPLETS NIGHTMARE NURSERY #2 (OF 6) MIDDLETON VAR $4.99 4/29/2015

ALTERNA COMICS INC

FEB150907 FUBAR: MOTHER RUSSIA #1 (MR) VAR
For every 5 copies purchased, retailers will receive 1 copy free.
FEB150908 LAST WEST GN VOL 02
For every 3 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 copy free.


AMRYL ENTERTAINMENT

FEB150928 CAVEWOMAN THE RETURN #2 CVR B DURHAM $8.00 4/29/2015
FEB150930 CAVEWOMAN THE RETURN #2 CVR C DURHAM $8.85 4/29/2015
FEB150929 CAVEWOMAN THE RETURN #2 CVR D ROOT $8.00 4/29/2015
FEB150931 CAVEWOMAN THE RETURN #2 CVR E ROOT $8.85 4/29/2015


ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

FEB150951-0955 THE SHIELD #1
Retailer orders of at least 5 copies on The Shield #1 [combined] placed by FOC date will be 100% returnable.

FEB150956-0959 BLACK HOOD #3 (MR)
Combined initial orders on Black Hood #3 matching or exceeding 75% of combined initial orders on Black Hood #1 will receive an additional 10% discount.

FEB150960-0962 THE FOX #2
Combined initial orders on The Fox #2 matching or exceeding 80% of combined initial orders on The Fox #1 will receive an additional 5% discount.
BV275 fradon bv275 genieve BV275 hughes BV275 williamsFEB150973 BETTY & VERONICA #275 ADAM HUGHES VAR CVR $4.99 4/15/2015
[Nice crosshatching, Mr. Hughes!]
FEB150975 BETTY & VERONICA #275 BRITTNEY WILLIAMS VAR CVR $4.99 4/15/2015
FEB150974 BETTY & VERONICA #275 GENEVIEVE VAR CVR $4.99 4/15/2015
FEB150972 BETTY & VERONICA #275 RAMONA FRADON VAR CVR $4.99 4/15/2015





FEB150958 BLACK HOOD #3 CHAYKIN VAR CVR (MR) $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150959 BLACK HOOD #3 DARK CIRCLE MOVIE THROWBACK VAR CVR (MR) $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150957 BLACK HOOD #3 MACK VAR CVR (MR) $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB150962 FOX (DARK CIRCLE) #2 DARK CIRCLE MOVIE THROWBACK VAR CVR $3.99 5/6/2015
FEB150961 FOX (DARK CIRCLE) #2 FATHER & SON CHAYKIN VAR CVR $3.99 5/6/2015

FEB150981 MEGA MAN #48 DOC IS IN VAR CVR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB150985 SONIC BOOM #7 INSUBORDINATION VAR CVR $3.99 4/29/2015

FEB150990 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 BEN BATES VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150992 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 EGA STUDIO VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150995 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 EVAN STANLEY VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150991 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 HESSE VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150996 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 JONATHAN GRAY VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150994 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 LAMAR WELLS VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150993 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 PATRICK THOMAS PARNELL VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB150989 SONIC UNIVERSE #75 YARDLEY VAR CVR $3.99 4/22/2015






ASPEN MLT INC

FEB151012 FATHOM KIANI VOL 4 #3 10 COPY PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive one 1 free alternate Agnes Garbowska cover, with the option to purchase up to 3 additional covers.
FEB151011 FATHOM KIANI VOL 4 #3 DIRECT MARKET CVR B $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB150999 FOUR POINTS #1 10 COPY PI 4/8/2015
FEB151000 FOUR POINTS #1 20 COPY PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 free alternate Jordan Gunderson sketch cover, with the option to purchase up to 3 additional covers.
FEB150998 FOUR POINTS #1 DIRECT MARKET CVR B $3.99 4/8/2015


FEB151008 LOLA XOXO WASTELAND MADAM #2 10 COPY PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive one 1 free alternate Dawn McTeigue cover, with the option to purchase up to 3 additional covers.
FEB151009 LOLA XOXO WASTELAND MADAM #2 20 COPY PI 4/29/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive one 1 free Siya Oum alternate cover, with the option to purchase up to 3 covers.
FEB151007 LOLA XOXO WASTELAND MADAM #2 DIREC MARKET CVR B $3.99 4/29/2015



FEB151003 SHAHRAZAD #1 8 COPY PI 4/1/2015
For every 8 copies ordered, retailers will receive one 1 free remastered J. Scott Campbell cover, with the option to purchase up to 3 additional covers.
FEB151002 SHAHRAZAD #1 DIRECT MARKET CVR B $2.99 4/1/2015

FEB151017 ZOOHUNTERS #4 12 COPY PI 4/29/2015
For ever 12 copies ordered, retailers will receive one 1 free alternate cover by Peter Steigerwald, with the option to purchase up to three 3 covers.
FEB151014 ZOOHUNTERS #4 DIRECT MARKET CVR B $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151015 ZOOHUNTERS #4 DIRECT MARKET CVR C $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151016 ZOOHUNTERS #4 DIRECT MARKET CVR D $3.99 4/29/2015



AVATAR PRESS INC

FEB151022 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 ART DECO CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151030 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 DLX COLL BOX SET CVR (MR) $49.99 4/29/2015
FEB151023 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 FEMME FATALE CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151024 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 HOMO TORTOR CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151027 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 MEGAFAUNA MAYHEM CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151029 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 RED CROSSED CVR PI 4/15/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any combination], retailers may purchase one Crossed: Badlands #75 Red Crossed Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151025 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 RITUAL CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151028 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 TERROR BIRDS CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151021 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 TORTURE CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151026 CROSSED BADLANDS #75 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015









FEB151032 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 AMERICAN HISTORY X WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151038 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 CGC NUMBERED ED (MR) $99.99 4/29/2015
FEB151033 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 CROSSED CULTURE CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151037 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 DESIGN SKETCH CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every ten copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the Crossed +100 #5 Design Sketch Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151035 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 FUTURE TENSE CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151034 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 NEW WORLD ORDER WRAP BAGGED CVR (MR) $5.99 4/29/2015
FEB151036 CROSSED PLUS 100 #5 RED CROSSED CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every three copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one Crossed +100 #5 Red Crossed Retailer Order Incentive cover.







FEB151083 DARK GODS #6 DEITY CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151084 DARK GODS #6 NIGHTMARE RETAILER PI 4/29/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the Dark Gods #6 Nightmare Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151082 DARK GODS #6 SIREN CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151081 DARK GODS #6 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015



FEB151066 GOD IS DEAD #32 CARNAGE WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151068 GOD IS DEAD #32 ENCHANTING CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151067 GOD IS DEAD #32 END OF DAYS CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151069 GOD IS DEAD #32 GILDED RETAILER CVR PI 4/15/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the God is Dead #32 Gilded Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151065 GOD IS DEAD #32 ICONIC CVR (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151072 GOD IS DEAD #33 CARNAGE WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151074 GOD IS DEAD #33 ENCHANTING CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151073 GOD IS DEAD #33 END OF DAYS CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151075 GOD IS DEAD #33 GILDED RETAILER CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any combination], retailers may purchase one copy of the God is Dead #33 Gilded Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151071 GOD IS DEAD #33 ICONIC CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015










FEB151063 UBER #24 BLITZKRIEG CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the Uber #24 Blitzkrieg Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151061 UBER #24 PROPAGANDA POSTER CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151062 UBER #24 WAR CRIMES CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151060 UBER #24 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015



FEB151079 WAR STORIES #7 BATTLE DAMAGE RETAILER PI 4/29/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the War Stories #7 Battle Damage Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151078 WAR STORIES #7 GOOD GIRL NOSE ART CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151077 WAR STORIES #7 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015


BENITEZ PRODUCTIONS

FEB151087 LADY MECHANIKA TABLET OF DESTINIES #1 (OF 6) 10 COPY BE PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 free Joe Benitez cover.

BOOM! STUDIOS

FEB151123 UFOLOGY #1
Initial orders matching or exceeding 125% of initial orders for Memetic #1 [AUG141144] will receive an additional 10% discount.

FEB151129 BILL & TED’S MOST TRIUMPHANT RETURN #2
Initial orders matching or exceeding 90% of initial orders on Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return #1 [JAN151113] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB151131 CON JOB #2
Initial orders matching or exceeding 90% of initial orders on Con Job #1 [JAN151104] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB151132 HIT 1957 #2
Initial orders matching or exceeding 90% of initial orders on HIT:1957 #1 [JAN151099] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB151135 GEORGE PEREZ’S SIRENS PEN & INK #1
Initial orders matching or exceeding 150% of initial orders on HIT: Pen & Ink #1 [AUG141141] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB151160 MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF GUARD VOLUME 3 #2
Initial orders matching or exceeding 90% of initial orders on Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 3 #1 [JAN151140] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB151162 HALOGEN #2
Initial orders matching or exceeding 90% of initial orders on Halogen #1 [JAN151145] will receive an additional 5% discount.

FEB151169 GIANT DAYS #2
Initial orders matching or exceeding 90% of initial orders on Giant Days #1 [JAN151155] will receive an additional 5% discount.

adventure time craigFEB151190 ADVENTURE TIME #39 20 COPY CRAIG VAR PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Wes Craig variant cover free.

FEB151189 ADVENTURE TIME #39 SUBSCRIPTION STRAIN VAR $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB151187 ADVENTURE TIME MARCELINE GONE ADRIFT #4 20 COPY LOUP VA PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Celine Loup variant cover free.
FEB151186 ADVENTURE TIME MARCELINE GONE ADRIFT #4 SUBSCRIPTION DILL VA $3.99 4/8/2015

FEB151140 BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #11
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Toby Cypress variant cover free.

FEB151130 BILL & TED MOST TRIUMPHANT RETURN #2 (OF 6) 10 CPY SCHOENING PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Dan Schoening variant cover free.

FEB151196 BRAVEST WARRIORS #31 SUBSCRIPTION BLACK VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151144 BURNING FIELDS #4 10 COPY ROSSMO VAR PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Riley Rossmo variant cover free.

FEB151142 CLUSTER #3 10 COPY SHALVEY VAR PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Declan Shalvey variant cover free.

FEB151148 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES #6 20 COPY GRAFFITI VAR PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 End of Days Graffiti Design variant cover free.

FEB151146 DEEP STATE #5 10 COPY SHALVEY VAR PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies purchased retailers will receive 1 Artyom Trakhanov variant cover free.

EFNY LinsnerFEB151138 ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #5 25 COPY LINSNER VAR PI 4/8/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Joseph Michael Linsner variant cover free.

FEB151194 GARFIELD #36 10 COPY IRVING VAR PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Frazer Irving variant cover free.

FEB151176 LUMBERJANES #13 20 COPY YEE VAR PI 4/15/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Reimena Yee variant cover free

FEB151174 MUNCHKIN #4 10 COPY PALMER VAR PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Evan Palmer variant cover free.

FEB151192 REGULAR SHOW #22 SUBSCRIPTION CHARM VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151154 SONS OF ANARCHY #7 CHARMING CA METALLIC STAMP CVR (MR) $14.99 4/29/2015
FEB151184 STEVEN UNIVERSE GREG UNIVERSE SPECIAL #1 ENGLE VAR CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Coleman Engle variant cover free.


FEB151124 UFOLOGY #1 10 COPY 10 YEAR IRVING VAR PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 Frazer Irving 10 Year Anniversary variant cover free.
FEB151125 UFOLOGY #1 20 COPY MAYBURY VAR PI 4/1/2015
For every 20 copies purchased, retailers will receive 1 Paul Maybury variant cover free.


BOUNDLESS COMICS

FEB151103 EMBER #0 ART NOUVEAU CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151104 EMBER #0 FIERY CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the Ember #0 Fiery Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151101 EMBER #0 SELFIE CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151102 EMBER #0 SULTRY CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151100 EMBER #0 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015




FEB151115 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #23 WITCHCRAFT CVR $9.99 4/29/2015
FEB151116 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #24 BAD TEACHER CVR $9.99 4/29/2015
FEB151118 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #25 COUNTRY CVR (MR) $9.99 4/29/2015
FEB151117 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #25 FIRED UP CVR $9.99 4/29/2015
FEB151120 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #26 CEO CVR (MR) $9.99 4/29/2015
FEB151119 LADY DEATH (ONGOING) #26 VIP PREMIUM CVR (MR) $29.99 4/29/2015




FEB151111 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 ALTERNATE HISTORY CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151113 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 ART DECO CVR PI 4/29/2015
For every 3 copies purchased [any comb], retailers may purchase one copy of the Lady Death: Apocalypse #3 Art Deco Retailer Order Incentive cover.
FEB151110 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 AUXILIARY CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151114 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 CGC NUMBERED ED CVR (MR) $99.99 4/29/2015
FEB151112 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 PREMIUM PURE ART CVR (MR) $9.99 4/29/2015
FEB151109 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 SULTRY CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151108 LADY DEATH APOCALYPSE #3 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015






BROADSWORD COMICS

FEB151212 TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #80 STUDIO DLX ED (MR) $19.99 4/29/2015

COSMIC TIMES

FEB151227 METAL LOCUS #1 (OF 4) 5 COPY WALLER PI 4/22/2015
For every 5 copies ordered, retailers will receive 1 free Karl Waller Variant cover.

D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

FEB151299 ARMY OF DARKNESS VOL 4 #5 (OF 5) 10 COPY HARDMAN B&W (N PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Gabriel Hardman B&W variant cover.FEB151300 ARMY OF DARKNESS VOL 4 #5 (OF 5) 15 COPY SEELEY B&W PI 4/1/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Tim Seeley B&W variant cover.
FEB151301 ARMY OF DARKNESS VOL 4 #5 (OF 5) 25 COPY TENORIO B&W (N PI 4/1/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Nacho Tenorio B&W variant cover.
FEB151297 ARMY OF DARKNESS VOL 4 #5 (OF 5) CVR B SEELEY VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151298 ARMY OF DARKNESS VOL 4 #5 (OF 5) CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015





FEB151312 BLOOD QUEEN VS DRACULA #2 (OF 4) 10 COPY ANACLETO B&W (net) PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jay Anacleto Black & White variant cover.
FEB151313 BLOOD QUEEN VS DRACULA #2 (OF 4) 15 COPY NEVES B&W PI 4/1/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Fabiano Neves Black & White variant cover.
FEB151311 BLOOD QUEEN VS DRACULA #2 (OF 4) CVR B EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015



FEB151307 BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #5 (OF 6) 10 COPY SMITH B&W PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Dietrich Smith B&W variant cover.
FEB151308 BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #5 (OF 6) 15 COPY SYAF B&W PI 4/1/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Ardian Syaf B&W variant cover.
FEB151309 BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #5 (OF 6) 25 COPY SMITH CYLON PI 4/1/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Dietrich Smith Cylon Red variant cover.
FEB151304 BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #5 (OF 6) CVR B SMITH VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151305 BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #5 (OF 6) CVR C RAMONDELLI VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151306 BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #5 (OF 6) CVR D EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015







FEB151317 DJANGO ZORRO #6 (OF 7) 10 COPY FRANCAVILLA VIRGIN PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Francesco Francavilla Virgin Art variant cover.
FEB151318 DJANGO ZORRO #6 (OF 7) 15 COPY MORITAT VIRGIN PI 4/15/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Moritat Virgin art variant cover.
FEB151319 DJANGO ZORRO #6 (OF 7) 25 COPY LEE B&W PI 4/15/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jae Lee B&W variant cover.
FEB151315 DJANGO ZORRO #6 (OF 7) CVR B FRANCAVILLA VAR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151316 DJANGO ZORRO #6 (OF 7) CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/15/2015






FEB151325 JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS #6
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Bart Sears B&W variant cover.
FEB151326 JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS #6
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order an Ed Benes B&W variant cover.
FEB151327 JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS #6
For every 30 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order an Emanuela Lupacchino Virgin variant cover.




FEB151243 JUNGLE GIRL SEASON 3 #1 (OF 4) 10 COPY CHO B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Frank Cho Black & White variant cover.
FEB151244 JUNGLE GIRL SEASON 3 #1 (OF 4) 20 COPY CHO VIcho jungle girlRGIN PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Frank Cho Virgin variant cover.
FEB151242 JUNGLE GIRL SEASON 3 #1 (OF 4) BLANK AUTHENTIX $10.00 4/8/2015



FEB151277 KING: FLASH GORDON #4
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jonathan Lau Black & White art variant.
FEB151278 KING: FLASH GORDON #4
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Exclusive Art variant cover.
FEB151279 KING: FLASH GORDON #4
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Black & White Art variant cover.




FEB151293 KING JUNGLE JIM #4 (OF 4) 10 COPY LAU B&W PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jonathan Lau Black & White Art variant cover.
FEB151294 KING JUNGLE JIM #4 (OF 4) 20 COPY DOWNEY PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Exclusive Art variant cover.
FEB151295 KING: JUNGLE JIM #4
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Black & White Art variant cover.




FEB151281 KING MANDRAKE MAGICIAN #4 (OF 4) 10 COPY LAU B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jonathan Lau Black & White Art variant cover.
FEB151282 KING MANDRAKE MAGICIAN #4 (OF 4) 20 COPY DOWNEY PI 4/29/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Exclusive Art variant cover.
FEB151283 KING MANDRAKE MAGICIAN #4 (OF 4) 25 COPY DOWNEY B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Black & White Art variant cover.




FEB151285 KING PRINCE VALIANT #4 (OF 4) 10 COPY LAU B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jonathan Lau Black & White Art variant cover.
FEB151286 KING PRINCE VALIANT #4 (OF 4) 20 COPY DOWNEY PI 4/29/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Exclusive Art variant cover.
FEB151287 KING PRINCE VALIANT #4 (OF 4) 25 COPY DOWNEY B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Black & White Art variant cover.




FEB151289 KING THE PHANTOM #4 (OF 4) 10 COPY LAU B&W PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jonathan Lau Black & White Art variant cover.
FEB151290 KING THE PHANTOM #4 (OF 4) 20 COPY DOWNEY PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Exclusive Art variant cover.
FEB151291 KING THE PHANTOM #4 (OF 4) 25 COPY DOWNEY B&W PI 4/22/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Stephen Downey Black & White Art variant cover.




FEB151329 LADY RAWHIDE LADY ZORRO #2 (OF 4) 10 COPY CHIN B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Joyce Chin Black & White variant cover.

FEB151271 LEGENDERRY GREEN HORNET #3 (OF 5) 10 COPY DAVILA B&W (N PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Sergio Fernandez Davila Black & White variant cover.
FEB151361 LEGENDERRY GREEN HORNET #3 (OF 5) RARE DAVILA VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/22/2015

FEB151273 LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #3 (OF 5) 10 COPY DAVILA B&W PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Sergio Fernandez Davila Black & White variant cover.
FEB151362 LEGENDERRY RED SONJA #3 (OF 5) RARE DAVILA VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/15/2015

FEB151275 LEGENDERRY VAMPIRELLA #3 (OF 5) 10 COPY DAVILA B&W PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Sergio Fernandez Davila Black & White variant cover.
FEB151363 LEGENDERRY VAMPIRELLA #3 (OF 5) RARE DAVILA VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/8/2015

FEB151261 LOOKING FOR GROUP #1 BLANK AUTHENTIX CVR $10.00 4/1/2015
FEB151260 LOOKING FOR GROUP #1 CVR B DREISDADT VAR $4.99 4/1/2015
FEB151360 LOOKING FOR GROUP #1 RARE DREISDADT VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/8/2015

FEB151234 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) 10 COPY WORLEY MISS FURY PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Colton Worley Miss Fury variant cover
FEB151235 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) 15 COPY CHEN PI 4/8/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Sean Chen variant cover.
FEB151236 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) 20 COPY HACK PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Robert Hack variant cover.
FEB151237 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) 30 COPY GUICE B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 30 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Butch Guice Black & White variant cover.
FEB151238 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) 40 COPY LEE B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 40 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jae Lee Black & White variant cover.
FEB151239 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) 50 COPY HARDMAN B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 50 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Gabriel Hardman Black & White variant cover.
FEB151233 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) BLANK AUTHENIX CVR $10.00 4/8/2015
FEB151231 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) CVR B LEE VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151232 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151357 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) RARE GUICE VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/1/2015
FEB151358 MASKS 2 #1 (OF 8) RARE WORLEY MISS FURY VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/1/2015















FEB151356 NEW VAMPIRELLA #11 25 COPY MAYHEW VIRGIN PI 4/8/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers may order one Mike Mayhew Virgin Art variant at net cost of $5.00!
FEB151354 NEW VAMPIRELLA #11 CVR B FRISON VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
vampi buscemaFEB151355 NEW VAMPIRELLA #11 CVR C BUSCEMA EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015


FEB151331 PATHFINDER ORIGINS #3 (OF 6) CVR B GARCIA VAR $4.99 4/1/2015
FEB151332 PATHFINDER ORIGINS #3 (OF 6) CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $4.99 4/1/2015
FEB151333 PATHFINDER ORIGINS #3 (OF 6) CVR D FARAS ULTRA LTD ED VAR $19.99 4/1/2015

FEB151266 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) 10 COPY WORLEY PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Colton Worley variant cover.
FEB151267 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) 15 COPY LOTAY VIRGIN PI 4/1/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Tula Lotay Virgin variant cover.
FEB151268 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) 25 COPY SHALVEY B&W PI 4/1/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Declan Shalvey Black & White variant cover.
FEB151269 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) 35 COPY HARDMAN B&W PI 4/1/2015
For every 35 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Gabriel Hardman Black & White variant cover.
FEB151264 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) CVR B SHALVEY VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151265 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151364 PS BLACKCROSS #2 (OF 6) RARE SHALVEY VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/8/2015









FEB151249 REANIMATOR #1 (OF 4) 10 COPY SEELEY B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Tim Seeley Black & White variant cover.
FEB151250 REANIMATOR #1 (OF 4) 15 COPY MANGUM B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Andrew Mangum Black & White variant cover.
FEB151251 REANIMATOR #1 (OF 4) 25 COPY LEE B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jae Lee Black & White variant cover.
FEB151248 REANIMATOR #1 (OF 4) BLANK AUTHENTIX CVR $10.00 4/8/2015
FEB151359 REANIMATOR #1 (OF 4) RARE FRANCAVILLA VIRGIN CVR $50.00 4/8/2015






FEB151338 RED SONJA VULTURES CIRCLE #4 10 COPY ANACLETO B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jay Anacleto B&W variant cover.
FEB151339 RED SONJA VULTURES CIRCLE #4 20 COPY GEOVANI B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Walter Geovani B&W variant cover.
FEB151336 RED SONJA VULTURES CIRCLE #4 CVR B GEOVANI VAR $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151337 RED SONJA VULTURES CIRCLE #4 CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/8/2015




FEB151343 SHAFT #5 10 COPY COWAN B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Dennis Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz B&W variant cover.
FEB151344 SHAFT #5 15 COPY GREENE B&W PI 4/8/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Sanford Greene B&W variant cover.
FEB151345 SHAFT #5 25 COPY FRANCAVILLA VIRGIN PI 4/8/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Francesco Francavilla Virgin variant cover.
FEB151341 SHAFT #5 CVR B FRANCAVILLA VAR (MR) $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151342 SHAFT #5 CVR C GREENE EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR (MR) $3.99 4/8/2015






FEB151350 TWILIGHT ZONE S&S #4 (OF 4) 15 COPY VILANOVA B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 15 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Vilanova B&W variant cover.
FEB151351 TWILIGHT ZONE S&S #4 (OF 4) 20 COPY LAU B&W PI 4/29/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Lau B&W variant cover.
twilight zone francavillaFEB151352 TWILIGHT ZONE S&S #4 (OF 4) 25 COPY FRANCAVILLA VIRGIN PI 4/29/2015
For every 25 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Francesco Francavilla Virgin variant cover.
FEB151348 TWILIGHT ZONE S&S #4 (OF 4) CVR B FRANCAVILLA VAR $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151349 TWILIGHT ZONE S&S #4 (OF 4) CVR C LAU EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/29/2015






FEB151255 UNCANNY SEASON 2 #1 (OF 6) 10 COPY JOCK VIRGIN PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Jock Virgin variant cover.
FEB151256 UNCANNY SEASON 2 #1 (OF 6) 20 COPY OLIVER VIRGIN PI 4/1/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order a Ben Oliver Virgin variant cover.
FEB151257 UNCANNY SEASON 2 #1 (OF 6) 30 COPY CAMPBELL VIRGIN PI 4/1/2015
For every 30 copies ordered, retailers will qualify to order an Aaron Campbell Virgin variant cover.
FEB151253 UNCANNY SEASON 2 #1 (OF 6) CVR B OLIVER VAR $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151254 UNCANNY SEASON 2 #1 (OF 6) CVR C EXC SUBSCRIPTION VAR $3.99 4/1/2015






DANGER ZONE

FEB158072 PUPPET MASTER #1 NEW DIMENSION PM 3 EX CVR (MR) $4.49 4/1/2015
FEB150896 PUPPET MASTER #2 TUNNELER PHOTO VAR (MR) $4.99 4/29/2015
FEB150895 PUPPET MASTER #2 TUNNELER SKETCH VAR (MR) $4.99 4/29/2015
FEB150894 PUPPET MASTER #2 TUNNELER VAR (MR) $4.99 4/29/2015


FEB150898 ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #10 MENDOZA VAR (MR) $4.99 4/29/2015
FEB150899 ZOMBIE TRAMP ONGOING #10 RISQUE VAR (MR) $4.99 4/29/2015

ONI PRESS

FEB151522 KAIJUMAX #1
Match or exceed 50% of your order of Hellbreak #1 regular cover with your order of Kaijumax #1 and receive an additional 5% discount off your order of Kaijumax #1
FEB151525 HELLBREAK #2 10 COPY MOORE & RENZI PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered receive one free Tradd Moore and Rico Renzi variant cover.
FEB151523 KAIJUMAX #1 10 COPY OMALLEY PI 4/8/2015kaijumax omalley
Retailers that order at least 25 copies of the regular cover may order as many copies of the Bryan Lee O’Malley Variant cover as they would like.




FEB151519 RICK & MORTY #1 10 COPY COLAS PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered, retailers will receive one free Julieta Colas variant cover.
FEB151520 RICK & MORTY #1 30 COPY RYAN PI 4/1/2015
For every 30 copies ordered, retailers will receive one free Johnny Ryan variant cover.
FEB151521 RICK & MORTY #1 50 COPY ROILAND PI 4/1/2015
For every 50 copies ordered, retailers will receive one free Justin Roland variant cover.




TITAN COMICS

FEB151613 DOCTOR WHO 12TH #8 SUBSCRIPTION PHOTO $3.99 5/6/2015
FEB151605 DOCTOR WHO 9TH #2 (OF 5) 10 COPY SHEDD PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered [reg & subscription cover combined], retailers may order one free Shedd cover variant.
FEB151604 DOCTOR WHO 9TH #2 (OF 5) SUBSCRIPTION PHOTO $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151619 SCARLETT COUTURE #1 (OF 4) SUBSCRIPTION PHOTO $3.99 4/29/2015



VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

FEB151641-1645 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1
Order the minimum number of copies of Bloodshot Reborn #1 (covers A-E, any combination) based on your DCD disc tier and total order fully returnable and will receive an 80% discount.
FEB151642 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR B SUAYAN $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151643 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR C JOHNSON $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151644 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR D LAROSA $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151645 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR E BLANK CVR $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151646 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR F 10 COPY VAL NEXT SUAYAN & MUL PI 4/15/2015
For every 10 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Mico Suayan & Tom Muller Valiant Next Variant cover.
FEB151647 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR G 20 COPY LEMIRE PI 4/15/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Jeff Lemire Variant cover.
FEB151648 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR H 60 COPY GUICE PI 4/15/2015
For every 60 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Butch Guice Variant cover.
FEB151649 BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 CVR I 100 COPY B&W LAROSA PI 4/15/2015
For every 100 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 B&W Sketch Lewis LaRosa Variant cover.












FEB151665 DIVINITY #3 (OF 4) CVR B MULLER $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB151666 DIVINITY #3 (OF 4) CVR C 10 COPY GIL PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Robert Gill Variant cover.
FEB151667 DIVINITY #3 (OF 4) CVR D 20 COPY LAROSA PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies of Divinity #3 ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Lewis LaRosa Variant cover. FEB151657 IMPERIUM #3 CVR B BRAITHWAITE $3.99 4/8/2015



FEB151658 IMPERIUM #3 CVR C 10 COPY NORD PI 4/8/2015
For every 10 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Cary Nord Variant cover.
FEB151659 IMPERIUM #3 CVR D 20 COPY CHAR DESIGN BRAITHWAITE PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Doug Braithwaite Character Design Variant cover.


FEB151669 IVAR TIMEWALKER #4 CVR B MESSINA $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB151670 IVAR TIMEWALKER #4 CVR C 20 COPY VILLALOBOS PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailer may order 1 Ramon Villalobos Variant cover.

FEB151651-1653 NINJAK #2
Orders of Ninjak #2 (covers A-C, any combination) that match or exceed 65% of orders for Ninjak #1 (JAN151636- JAN151640) will receive a 65% discount off of their order of Ninjak #2.
FEB151652 NINJAK #2 CVR B JOHNSON $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB151653 NINJAK #2 CVR C GUERRA $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB151654 NINJAK #2 CVR D 10 COPY ALLEN PI 4/22/2015
For every 10 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Raul Allen Variant cover.
FEB151655 NINJAK #2 CVR E 20 COPY PASTORAS PI 4/22/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Das Pastoras Variant cover.






QWMD_004_VARIANT_GRACEFEB151675 QUANTUM & WOODY MUST DIE #4 (OF 4) CVR B 20 COPY GRACE PI 4/29/2015
For every 20 copies ordered, retailers may order 1 Sina Grace Variant cover.

FEB151672 RAI #8 CVR B MACK $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151673 RAI #8 CVR C 20 COPY SEARS PI 4/8/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Bart Sears variant cover.

FEB151677 UNITY #17 CVR B HENRY $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151678 UNITY #17 CVR C 20 COPY RYP PI 4/15/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Juan Jose Ryp Variant cover.

FEB151661 X-O MANOWAR #35 CVR B MOLINA $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151662 X-O MANOWAR #35 CVR C 10 COPY SANDOVAL PI 4/1/2015
For every 10 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Rafa Sandoval Variant cover.
FEB151663 X-O MANOWAR #35 CVR D 20 COPY RYP PI 4/1/2015
For every 20 copies ordered (any combination), retailers may order 1 Juan Jose Ryp Variant cover.



ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT

FEB151760 GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #109 BEOWULF B CVR MEGURO (MR) $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151761 GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #109 BEOWULF C CVR KOTKIN (MR) $3.99 4/8/2015

FEB151779 GFT JUNGLE BOOK FALL WILD #5 (OF 5) B CVR LAISO (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151780 GFT JUNGLE BOOK FALL WILD #5 (OF 5) C CVR DELARA (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015

FEB151769 GFT LITTLE MERMAID #3 (OF 5) B CVR ANDOLFO (MR) $3.99 4/22/2015
FEB151770 GFT LITTLE MERMAID #3 (OF 5) C CVR MENDONCA (MR) $3.99 4/22/2015

FEB151755 GFT OZ REIGN OF WITCH QUEEN #1 (OF 6) B CVR REYES (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151756 GFT OZ REIGN OF WITCH QUEEN #1 (OF 6) C CVR MILLER (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151757 GFT OZ REIGN OF WITCH QUEEN #1 (OF 6) D CVR PANTALENA (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151758 GFT OZ REIGN OF WITCH QUEEN #1 (OF 6) E CVR CHATZOUDIS $5.00 4/29/2015
Initial orders on Return of the Witch Queen [any combination, minimum 25] that match or exceed 200% of initial orders on Grimm Fairy Tales #105 [OCT141789-91 all comb] will qualify to order 1 Chatzoudis Ultra Rare variant cover E.



FEB151772 GFT REALM WAR #10 (OF 12) B CVR CAFARO (AOFD) (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151773 GFT REALM WAR #10 (OF 12) C CVR RICH (AOFD) (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015
FEB151774 GFT REALM WAR #10 (OF 12) D CVR LAISO (AOFD) (MR) $3.99 4/29/2015

FEB151766 GFT ROBYN HOOD ONGOING #9 PLAGUE B CVR MALSUNI $3.99 4/1/2015
FEB151767 GFT ROBYN HOOD ONGOING #9 PLAGUE C CVR QUALANO $3.99 4/1/2015

FEB151782 GFT TALES OF TERROR #10 B CVR GUERRERO (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151783 GFT TALES OF TERROR #10 C CVR ERIC J (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015

FEB151776 GFT WHITE QUEEN #3 B CVR CAFARO (AOFD) (MR) $3.99 4/8/2015
FEB151777 GFT WHITE QUEEN #3 C CVR PANTALENA (AOFD) (MR) $3.99 4/8/2015

FEB151763 GFT WONDERLAND #34 WELL DREAMS B CVR EL TABANAS (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015
FEB151764 GFT WONDERLAND #34 WELL DREAMS C CVR WIMBERLY (MR) $3.99 4/15/2015


 

1 Comments on Collect Them All! You Won’t Believe How Many Variant Comics Ship in April 2015, last added: 3/25/2015
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15. The Retailer’s View: No Money, Mo’ Problems

There’s drywall dust chocking the air. The people around me are wearing masks and giving me side-eye. My eye wanders listlessly from the walls the exist in full to the walls that are nothing more than steal bones, to gnarled bits of flooring that have been torn from the ground. The place doesn’t look like much, but I really don’t care. In my mind, I can see what it will soon become, and the thought pulls at the corners of my mouth, forming a bewildered smile. In a few short weeks, it will be ready. In a few short weeks, it will be real. Soon.

I can’t wait.

Theme music!

The recap is probably needless at this point, but let’s do it anyway for those of you just joining us. At the end of last year, I tendered my resignation as the manager of a comic shop, and decided to start up my own. Since then, I’ve been tangled in a web of paperwork and bureaucracy as my partners and I pushed things forward little by little.

The amount of work it takes to start up a business is pretty staggering – or at least it has seemed that way to me. I knew it would be hard, but I had always assumed there would at least be a very linear sense to things, with one accomplishment leading you to the next, leading you to the next. That was quickly dispelled on day one when we decided to look at some properties. The logic behind this move was simple: you can’t plan a whole lot without knowing where you’re going, and what you might have to budget for. Unfortunately, a lot of the properties we were looking into wanted a sign that we were serious about opening a business before they’d talk turkey. Some even wanted a completed business plan before they’d budge even the slightest amount from their stance of “doing nothing”. Since this moment in time, I’ve learned that this isn’t really the norm – realtors actively want your business, and will usually work with you, according to your time and means. For whatever reason (I suspect something having to do with preconceptions about comic shops), this was not our initial experience. Regardless, I started to focus on getting the business plan together. I had already put together the broad strokes in my mind, but I needed to nail down the particulars. The most frustrating bit of that? A business plan requires you to know how much money you’re asking for, and where you will be located, and for that… well, we needed some realtors to give us the time of day.

Our empty bay, behind a car.

The fruit of this particular labour: our empty bay, behind a car, with the “coming soon” pieces of paper in the window.

As it turns out, that process is very much an accurate representation of starting a comic shop in general. From a pure business standpoint, banks want to make sure you have a business plan, a signed lease, and projections before they’ll even talk to you. One of the banks we spoke with then completely ignored the business plan and projections and ran numbers based off of personal finances – and not what the business currently owned. Another was shocked that we had a lease ready to enact despite asking for such in their funding instructions, and that they wanted an accurate lease quote in our projections.

Speaking of projections, do you know what else you need a confirmed location for? Proper insurance quotes. Insurance companies can’t give you a quote without knowing where you’ll be specifically, so they can determine your costs by measuring crime rates and building upkeep. You also can’t get a completely accurate quote for security or telephone and internet, and parking, and more. What I’ve learned from this is, this kind of preparation – the kind where you meticulously dig for accuracy – is not appreciated by banks. You can show up with a grab bag of inaccurate guesswork, and it will do you just as well as spending the time and effort to put the things they’ve been asking for together. All they really want is to be able to give a quick cursory glance at the numbers, and see that you don’t expect to make $100,000 in your first month(s) of business (which I was told is fairly common for some people’s projections) and that’s about it.

Now, most (if not all) of this is moot if you’re starting a business with a decent amount of money to your name. If you have money, banks, landlords and insurance people will gladly give you the thumbs up to make more money. After all, they know you’re good for it. Experience doesn’t seem to matter as much, so long as you have the bank to back up some inexperience. It’s a dumb Catch-22 where track record, experience and product meets indifference, and if I’m being truly honest? I didn’t realize how angry I was about all of this until I started writing this and the words started flowing out. I mean… from a business standpoint, I understand. It’s hard to bank on someone who doesn’t appear to have money, and you can’t readily toss money at someone who has little more than their word. I get that. But dammit, it still hurts when you put in the work, and spend years – years – amassing a collection, only to be told that you should have done nothing but dig a hole in your back yard and fill it with money, rather than build stock and gain experience.

One of our logos, by the incomparable Dylan Todd.

One of our logos, by the incomparable Dylan Todd.

Pity party aside, if you push hard enough, things will still work out. They have for me. Or at least they have so far. I always feel as though the plug is going to be pulled at any moment, that everyone is going to point at me and tell me what a fraud I am. But I felt that way when I didn’t co-own a business, so that’s not anything different. I’m sending in my first Diamond order today, which should be interesting. Before, I had the backing of a store and a customer base that had been around for almost 20 years. Now, I’m guessing wildly at numbers, going purely from my gut and sense of industry, and if I screw up big? Well… it could wreck things. There isn’t a large room for error, and its equal parts stressful and exciting.

As for the store’s physical location, things are going well. The renovations are proceeding quite rapidly, and we should be able to start moving things into the space in the beginning of April. Our landlord and our neighbours have been wonderful and supportive, and despite the fact that we’ve yet to open, I know of a small handful of customers who have stopped by the store to check things out and say “hello”. As the last bits of preparation give way to actual, tangible physical accomplishments, some of the stress and frustration is washing away. Soon, I’ll be back behind the counter, along with my wife and our third business partner, a new generation of store owners in a city that hasn’t had new blood in decades. The hope is to take all the old building blocks and make something new and vibrant, something vital and needed. Walking through the bones of what’s to come, I can’t help but feel a tingle of excitement. It’s happening. It’s going to happen. It’s starting right now… and with any luck, it won’t end anytime soon.

[Brandon Schatz has spent the past eight years working behind the comic book counter, and he will soon be opening Variant Edition in Edmonton, Alberta. In his spare time, he writes about the comics and culture. You can find him on twitter @soupytoasterson and at his website, Submetropolitan. The opinions expressed are those of Schatz and do not necessarily reflect those of The Beat.]

3 Comments on The Retailer’s View: No Money, Mo’ Problems, last added: 3/24/2015
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16. Star Clipper Comics has been resurrected in St. Louis

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It was a sad day for St. Louis comics fans when Star Clipper Comics closed down in January, but a happier day when owners of a local comics shop chain have resurrected the name with fixtures and employees.

Hoping to fill the void left by Star Clipper’s closure, Steve Unverferth and Tony Favello, co-owners of Fantasy Books, Inc., purchased the store’s fixtures for their Wash. Ave. store and even hired four of the Trujillos’ former employees. Unverferth and Favello didn’t have a name for their shop yet, but it was easy for Trujillo to see how this new store — a long, narrow space with hardwood floors that had formerly housed an art gallery and a dojo — could channel the spirit of its popular predecessor.


I’m told that the Fantasy Books chain doesn’t quite have the indie focus of the original Star Clipper, but hopefully some of the employees from the old shop can port over a bit of that sensibility. The new Star Clipper was set up with former owner Benjamin Trujillo’s full cooperation.

The new store opens in early April.

1 Comments on Star Clipper Comics has been resurrected in St. Louis, last added: 3/17/2015
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17. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/13/15: Breaking the $5 barrier

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§ Ryan Holmberg’s obituary for Tatsumi Yoshihiro is a must read, not only as a personal remembrance of the man and who he affected the author, but as a history of how one creator can influence an entire medium. Tatsumi is obviously a great cartoonist and an important cartoonist, but the road was bumpy, sometimes misunderstood and went off in different directions. However, it’s thrilling to read about its early development:

The gekiga style caught on like wildfire. Within a couple of years, most artists working in the mystery genre were using the term and a Tatsumi-inflected language. One publisher after another began emulating the detective anthologies Tatsumi contributed to, namely Shadow (Kage, founded in 1956) and The Street (1957). For a time, Tatsumi edited these and similar publications, thus shaping the manga scene not only as an artist but also as a mentor and curator. Shadow, no. 12 (1957), and The Street, no. 12 (1957), art for both covers by Tatsumi Yoshihiro. In 1959, Tatsumi and many of his peers moved to Tokyo to be closer to the big publishing houses. There, he helped formed the Gekiga Studio (Gekiga Kōbō), an artist-run publishing collective based on profit-sharing and editorial control, with a view ultimately to self-publishing. Amongst the many publications produced by the Gekiga Studio was the mystery and gangland anthology Skyscraper (Matenrō) from Togetsu Shobō. The organization was short-lived, disbanding after just six months, but its influence was great. It catalyzed the formation of some of the manga industry’s first formal production studios. Its publications established its contributors’ reputations in Tokyo, paving the way for the creation of their own (again short-lived) publishing houses and subsequently their move into the big time of mass print magazines.


Holmberg notes that Tatsumi’s earliest groundbreaking work is not available outside of its earliest publications, which were rental comics, and not easily archived. It would be fascinating to compare Tatsumi’s development in the late 50s to the earlier but sort of contemporary EC comics, a similar step forward for US comics. Of course the US development was mutilated into silence by the comic book hearings, It’s a common US comics parlor game to wonder how comics would have developed without the code. Gekiga was influential but still a small part of the vast manga factory system. Anyway read and ponder.

§ Area woman will not be attending Wizard World Raleigh.

§ Joe Quesada has started a tumblr and kicks it off with some nice Daredevil process stuff—it’s mostly to promote the upcoming Daredevil Netflix series, but I hope Quesada can update it now and then ongoing.

§ Copacetic Comics found some copies of Rubber Blanket #3 by David Mazzucchelli in the warehouse. Hurry up before they’re gone!

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§ Hello Kitty for HIM? YES. Japanese clothier Nendo has designed a line of men’s t-shirts featuring the iconic kitty, but the take is male like the Le Corbusier, take off. Because men love architecture.

Hello-Kitty-collection_T-shirts_Nendo_dezeen_468_9 (1).jpg

§ The Outhouse has reset its “Has DC Done Something Stupid” clock. One reason is those new costumes for the Big Three we showcased yesterday. Honestly, that’s just typical “we beginning, let’s change clothes!” stuff and after predictable outrage everyone will go back to their regular closet after a while.

Another reason is ire from normally good natured Walt Simonson over a disjointed reprint of his Orion stories.

However, I was dismayed when I began looking through the book and discovered that all of the backup stories for the issues, although included in the volume, have been separated from their lead stories and stripped of their context by putting them in the back of the Omnibus, in a separate section behind all the lead stories.  And they aren’t entirely in order in that section either.  

To say I was dismayed at these discoveries is probably too gentle a word, but what’s the point of going further? What’s done is done. It seems unlikely that there will be future collections of the same material. I feel it’s some of my best work, and I am very unhappy that the stories in this collection are never going to be read in the correct order by anyone except perhaps by extremely die hard fans of the work, or by people who simply go back and buy the original back issues.

The one bright note is that Dan Didio told me, after I spoke to him about the matter this afternoon, that if the book is reissued in paperback at some point down the road, he would do everything he could to see that all of the stories are printed in the correct order in that edition.


Simonson has published a “concordance” of sorts of the correct order.

That’s unfortunate, but sort of to be expected in all the moving tumult.

The final matter is the hints that DC will be raising the price of their comics to $4.99 at some point in the future. “Sending the trucks out with five bucks.” I know there is a lot of concern about profitability and all, and the last price rise was supposed to come with extra pages and all, but prices have been creeping up for a while across the board. $5 is not a cup of coffee. It’s a venti salted caramel with coconut milk and whipped cream. But when you get a venti salted caramel etc, it’s a treat, a special experience. Most regular periodical comics are very far from special experiences, but are most a tiny piece of the puzzle that will eventually get collected as part of a multi volume continuity experience. Not to sound snobby but I get all my periodical comics for free in one way or another but I often purchase smaller indie comics to support the creators. For $10 I can often get a small squarebound graphic novel of 40 pages or so with a complete, thoughtful story.

For instance, for a mere $5.99 you can purchase True Stories by Derf, a 40 page collection of his humorous strips for The City. Good value!

For $10 you can purchase Jeremiah by Cathy G. Johnson, a 160 page graphic novel about a young man growing up on a farm. It’s a beautifully realized piece about self-awareness, denial and other perennial themes. COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME. 160 pages.

For $17.99 (less on Amazon) you can Buy Andre the Giant by Box Brown, a great biography of a fascinating historical figure.

And so on and so on. I haven’t even touched the digital side of things.

Anyway, $4.99 will be a tipping point for many readers. There are so many other options now, just in comics. I understand that economic factors play into this, some of them inevitable, but…yeah. Changing times .

5 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/13/15: Breaking the $5 barrier, last added: 3/14/2015
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18. Cheep comics: Marvel reveals covers for $1 budget introductory line True Believers

This story first dropped in January but we must have been having blizzard or something. Anyway, in an effort to sell more comics, Marvel has introduced a line of bargain priced $1 introductory issues for a number of tried and true story lines. It’s called True Believer and the books go on sale in April.

The books go back to some classic story lines like Civil War, Planet Hulk—and just for the PS3 generation, Powers (debuting tonight!) Presumably these jump on board spots will enable new reads to join in the Secret Wars fun.

“True Believers are your perfect entry point to not only the Marvel Universe but the new Secret Wars Universe as well,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel in a statement. “They’re a great way for retailers to promote and streamline consumers into Marvel’s extensive back list and the ideal way for fans to get caught up before the cataclysmic events of Secret Wars! We’re proud to present these great stories in this format, allowing fans to sample some of Marvel’s best and brightest gems.”

And here’s the lineup. For all you conspiracy freaks, the Spider-Man #1 is the Milea Morales issue…..

True_Believers_Infinity_Gauntlet

TRUE BELIEVERS: INFINITY GAUNTLET #1 (FEB150760)
Reprinting material from INFINITY GAUNTLET #1.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP

True_Believers_Marvel_Zombies

TRUE BELIEVERS: MARVEL ZOMBIES #1 (FEB150761)
Reprinting MARVEL ZOMBIES #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
True_Believers_Age_of_Apocalypse
TRUE BELIEVERS: AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1 (FEB150762)
Reprinting material from X-MEN ALPHA.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP
True_Believers_Civil_War
TRUE BELIEVERS: CIVIL WAR #1 (FEB150767)
Reprinting material from CIVIL WAR #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP
True_Believers_Planet_Hulk
TRUE BELIEVERS: PLANET HULK #1 (FEB150764)
Reprinting INCREDIBLE HULK (2000) #92.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP













True_Believers_House_of_M

TRUE BELIEVERS: HOUSE OF M #1 (FEB150765)
Reprinting HOUSE OF M #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP

True_Believers_Old_Man_Logan

TRUE BELIEVERS: OLD MAN LOGAN #1 (FEB150766)
Reprinting WOLVERINE (2003) #66.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$1.00 MSRP

True_Believers_Armor_Wars

TRUE BELIEVERS: ARMOR WARS #1 (FEB150763)
Reprinting material from IRON MAN (1968) #225.
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00 MSRP
True_Believers_Miles_Morales
TRUE BELIEVERS: MILES MORALES #1 (FEB150768)
Reprinting ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP





True_Believers_Age_of_Ultron

TRUE BELIEVERS: AGE OF ULTRON #1 (FEB150769)
Reprinting AGE OF ULTRON #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP

Powers_Firsts

POWERS FIRSTS #1 (FEB150770)
Reprinting POWERS #1.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00 MSRP

7 Comments on Cheep comics: Marvel reveals covers for $1 budget introductory line True Believers, last added: 3/11/2015
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19. You can now subscribe to Retrofit’s dynamite 2015 lineup

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If there’s such a thing as “a big micro press” Retrofit Comics might just apply. With a monthly schedule of small, attractive books by the premiere cartoonists working, they’ve put out some of the most notable comics of the past few years, including Wicked Chicken Queen by Sam Alden, Tom Hart’s Daddy Lightning, and Flocks by L. Nichols.

And now you can subscribe to the whole 2015 lineup, which is a stunner, including:

Olivier Schrauwen – Mowgli’s Mirror

Matt Madden – Drawn Out
Laura Knetzger – Sea Urchin
Laura Lannes
Box Brown – An Entity Observes All Things
Kate Leth
Yumi Sakugawa
Steven Weissman
Sophie Franz
Future Shock anthology – edited by Josh Burggraf
Andrew Lorenzi
Maré Odomo









Subscriptions for all 12 books are $75 and include PDF versions of each comic and TWO BONUS GIFTS AND a free 2014 Retrofit comic to give to a pal. PLUS, sign up before February 20th with codeword “earlybird” to get $10 off.

You can also buy a digital-only sub for $35.  Shipping is free within the United States and discounted shipping is available to Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the UK, for only $12. Shipping internationally otherwise is $36.

According to publisher Box Brown, “2015 is our most ambitious year to date. We’ve got 12 artists on the schedule and all kinds of surprises coming too. The first two books of our 2015 schedule are Mowgli’s Mirror by Olivier Schrauwen and Drawn Onward by Matt Madden. Both books are exceptional comics by masters of the craft. We’re planning this year to create books of all sizes as well. Steven Weissman’s book, coming out at San Diego Comic Con, will be over 100 pages. The rest of the 2015 artists are all extremely talented personal favorites: Laura Lannes, Kate Leth, Laura Knetzger, Yumi Sakugawa, Sophie Franz, Maré Odomo, Andrew Lorenzi, and a special collection of Future Shock anthology; edited by Josh Burggraf. Oh yeah! Also, we’re releasing a collection of my sci-fi comics (reprints and new work) called An Entity Observes All Things.”

Jared Smith, co-publisher of Retrofit Comics, said, “This is a big experiment for us, we are hoping we will get more subscribers by dropping the cost of the subscription and shipping. For it to work, we need to get lots of subscribers! One of the biggest problems with mailing so many print comics each year is how expensive shipping has become, especially internationally. We were able to get some great help with shipping from Matt Emery of Pikitia Press and Simon Moreton.”

If you have even the slightest interest in alternative comics, this is a great deal—and it enables retrofit to keep putting out important new works by some of the best cartoonists around.

0 Comments on You can now subscribe to Retrofit’s dynamite 2015 lineup as of 1/1/1900
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20. Thank You Comics in Highland Park to close

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This is a major bummer. Thank You Comics, the spinoff of Silverlake’s very successful Secret Headquarters, is closing at the end of the month according to their home page.

We appreciate your patronage the last couple of years. We have loved being a part of the neighborhood.

Make sure to visit our sister stores, Secret Headquarters (Silver Lake) and Dungeon Dungeon (inside The Last Bookstore) for all your comic book needs.

The space will be available on March 1st. For lease information please call (323) 570-2202.

Catch you on the flip,


Gift certificates are redeemable up until the closing.

Thank You opened in 2012 as a store focused on indies and GNS, and as you can see from their twitter background photo, they supported all the best stuff. Highland Park is a fairly trendy LA neighborhood so without knowing more about the situation it’s impossible to speculate on what closed the store.

As mentioned, Secrete Headquarters is still going strong though.

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3 Comments on Thank You Comics in Highland Park to close, last added: 2/8/2015
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21. Dark Horse Now At Books A Million Through Diamond

IMG_20150214_144203The last time we talked about Books A Million and Diamond, I told you’d I’d been advised to keep an eye on Dark Horse and, sure enough, Dark Horse had disappeared off the newsstand sections at both BAM and Barnes & Noble in my area.  I popped in again today and Dark Horse did have a presence at Books A Million in the bagged and boarded section of comics shipped from Diamond.  Rumor confirmed.

Also of interest on the rack was a sticker on an issue of Daredevil.   The third-oldest issue was 20% and as you can see from the photo, they’re also pushing their discount membership. (If you buy a $25 membership, you get 10% off in-store purchases.  Which means you need to spend $250 to break even.)  That was the only stickered comic I could find on the rack.  It could be they’re going to start discounting the older stock, and this would be one of the first ones they received.  Could be they’re experimenting on different comics to see if the extra discount has an effect.  With only one sticker, it’s hard to say.

There happened to be a staffer stocking magazines, so I asked her a few questions.  She referred to the Diamond comics as not being from the normal distributor service and said they were trying something different and seeing how it went.  As for the discount sticker, anything like that would be by instruction from management or the distributor.  I don’t think she meant Diamond in this case, but it reinforces the impression I’d been getting that this comics initiative through Diamond is being controlled rather tightly by the BAM corporate offices and not driven by individual store managers at this point.  The phrasing also gives me the impression that this is still in the experimental stage and not rolled out as a standard option at all BAMs yet.  I wouldn’t call a 20%/30% discount remaindering a comic, either.  Even with the cost of a bag and a board, that should still be above their break-even rate.

IMG_20150214_144207As it gets into 4 months of stocking comics, it should be come more clear what this particular store does with the unsold stock, stickers or otherwise.  In the meantime, its a question of what other publishers start showing up in the selection.


Have you read Todd’s book Economics of Digital Comics?  You can also ignore him on Twitter at@Real_Todd_Allen

3 Comments on Dark Horse Now At Books A Million Through Diamond, last added: 2/15/2015
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22. ComicsPRO: Papercutz teaming with Nickelodeon for Breadwinners and Sanjay and Craig

Or at least that’s what we got out of these extremely not hard to figure out teaser images:

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Papercutz previously published comics based on the RABBIDS cartoon which aired on Nickelodeon. In addition they’ve had pretty massive success with their other kids titles such as Ninjago, Geronimo Stilton and so on. No reason to think this won’t work, too.

The ComicsPRO meeting is currently underway in Portland, OR, with publishers, retailers and a few miscellaneous types on hand to plot the future of comics. Although closed to press, news tends to leak out in a timely fashion. We’ll keep you posted on more development.

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23. ComicsPRO: Schanes and Kubert honored at “diversity” filled meeting

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The annual meeting for the retailer organization ComicsPRO wrapped up over the weekend. The meeting is closed to the press but retailer/newspaper columnist Matt Price has an informative series of posts on the event, which consists of meetings and publisher presentations. It was a transitional year for ComicsPRO following a scandal involving former treasurer Gary Dills, who resigned and saw one of his stores closed. But the organization seems to have rebounded in the midst of the general comics renaissance that is taking place.

According to Price, publishers acknowledged the seismic shift going on in the comics reading demographic:

The watchword for a lot of the ComicsPRO annual members meeting was “diversity,” as both publishers and retailers realized the demographics of their audience are shifting. There were a lot of newsbits and notes coming out of the meeting, but there didn’t seem to be many strong areas of dissension — publishers announced ways to work with retailers to mitigate risk and to let them know what content would be of most interest to which audiences.


New board members were also selected. Pete Dolan of Main Street Comics in Middletown, N.Y. was elected as president, replacing Thomas Gaul. Other board members include VP Carr D’Angelo of Earth 2 Comics; recording secretary, Chris Brady of Four Color Fantasies; and treasurer, Ralph Mathieu of Alternate Reality Comics. Brady and Jayme Foster of Southern Fried Comics in Hattiesburg, Miss., were elected to the board, joining the above plus Chicago Comics’ Eric Kirsammer.

The annual Industry appreciation awards were presented. Bill Schanes, formerly of Pacific Comics and Diamond and now an industry consultant, was selected as the living winner; hall of fame artist and educator Joe Kubert was selected posthumously.

In other news, the event included perhaps the last chance to fete outgoing sales guru Bob Wayne, whos, as we’ve noted many times before, is the most popular human on earth among comics retailers.

Archie unveiled the above comicsPRO exclusive cover to The Black Hood #1 (on sale this week) by Michael Gaydos.


Many more photos from the events from the twitter feed of Strange Adventure’s Calum Jonston

However undoubtedly the greatest optics of the event was the Fight Cub 2 severed arm giveaway, to promote theupcoming book by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart. So many uses.

And some more random tweeting about the event.

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24. MUST READ: Jim Zub on how creator owned comics economics have improved

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And when I say must-read, I mean MUST READ, as it really lays out fundamental changes in how the industry is working for creator owned books.. A few days ago I noted how an old post on the economics of Jim Zub on Skullkickers, his Image comics, had gotten a second life on Facebook with it’s very low numbers on comics profits. In the comment, Zub promised an update, and he’s delivered with an analysis of his new book, Wayward. As you can see from the above graph, it’s a HUGE change, and it’s all due to the rise of Image Comics:

The Image model has always been about investing in yourself and reaping the benefits of that investment if sales are strong. I knew that going in with Skullkickers back in 2010 and, even when our sales were borderline unprofitable, I stuck with the series as a way to establish myself as a writer and show people our team could produce a high quality comic month after month. Now, four and a half years later, I’m seeing the benefits of that consistency and the growing creator-owned market with my new Image series called Wayward.

Zub enumerates a number of ways Wayward has surpassed Skullkickers, including his larger profile in the industry at large, and the material being more suited to today’s market: “Cute supernatural teenage girls (surrounded by cats) kicking the shit out of monsters on the street of Tokyo plays to a bigger audience than a bro-centric slapstick violent D&D tale, especially in 2014-2015.” While you should read the whole thing, one particular bullet point is worth highlighting:

• Retailer Outreach: I’ve also done a ton of retailer outreach over the past four years. Having well regarded work is wonderful but only if retailers feel confident they can sell the books. As we headed towards the launch of Wayward, the crew at Image and I did a lot of communicating with retailers about the series, showing them exclusive artwork and previews, doing everything we could to prove to them that this was a series they could confidently sell to their customers. That lead to several comic shop and convention-exclusive variant covers for Wayward #1, bolstering our launch numbers by thousands of copies while creating extra interest in the series.

While some may see the “variant method” as a danger sign, I think the numbers on these variants are still low enough on an individual basis to avoid threatening overall comics sales. It’s also CRUCIAL that today’s retailers are more open to diverse material. I don’t like to live in the past, but some of my 90s conversations with retailers begging them to consider selling Simpsons comics spring to mind. But you know it was a different world 20years ago. It’s a different world than it was even FOUR years ago. While Zub notes that neither he nor Wayward artist/co-creator Steve Cummings are rolling in dough, they have enough to pay the rest of the team, and for Cummings to work on the book full time. AND they have a war chest to help promote and keep the book on its successful sales trajectory.

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Zub notes that the first Wayward trade paperback is coming out in March, so even his numbers post serves as a way to promote the next work.

Good sound tips all.

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Above: the triptych cover for Wayward #6-8 by Cummings.

4 Comments on MUST READ: Jim Zub on how creator owned comics economics have improved, last added: 2/24/2015
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25. Books A Million Selling Variants Online and Getting DC from Diamond

Princess-LeiaThis may well spoil things for people trying to flip variants on eBay, but it looks like Books A Million will let you order (and pre-order) variant covers off their website.  And it looks like they’re expanding how many different publishers they’re getting variants from:

And that Princess Leia link is for the sketch variant.  Yes, BAM now has variants and sketch variants for some of the Star Wars titles.  A Marvel variant will set you back $7.99, but a sketch variant is $9.99  Start saving your pennies, kids.

There are a lot more variants available than just those, with Marvel leading the way in terms of volume.  On the BAM site, the publisher of the comics is always listed as “Diamond Comic” or “Diamond Comic Magazine,” amusingly reminding use where these are coming from.  I’d take as a good sign for how BAM’s doing with non-returnable fare that they’re adding all these variants and from all sorts of publishers.

And then there’s DC.  BAM lists a few DC titles online.  Here’s Convergence #1.  It’s not listed as being an exclusive cover, but it’s got “Diamond Comic Magazine” as the publisher and an ISBN number:

  • ISBN-13: 9781492472070
  • ISBN-10: 1492472077

Here’s the link for Convergence: Suicide Squad #1, which BAM has listed as a hardcover (almost certainly an error).

DC did not get back to me about why some of their titles are showing up on BAM’s site as Diamond titles, but since they’re not listed as variants, it’s entirely possible they weren’t aware those listings existed.

In the meantime, if variants are your thing, you don’t have to pay a jacked up price for the BAM variants on eBay if the title in question is still available on their website.


Have you read Todd’s book Economics of Digital Comics?  You can also ignore him on Twitter at@Real_Todd_Allen

 

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